Underground and Hidden Histories in Leisure Services

Underground and Hidden Histories in Leisure Services - Redshelf eBook

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Pages: 210

Binding Type: Digital

History is the study of past events, underground is what is beneath the surface, in this case, of a profession, and hidden is linked to conceal and obscure. These three concepts—history, underground, and hidden—explain this book. Drawing on James W. Loewen’s historiography, and Michele Foucault’s genealogy (historical research methodologies), this book reveals underground and hidden aspects of the leisure service profession that have been concealed, or not known, in most American leisure service textbooks. Broken into two parts (history and contemporary history of the recent past) the aim of Underground and Hidden Histories in Leisure Services is to show the reader that the past of leisure services was not what is always portrayed. A sampling of historical claims and arguments discussed include: 

  • Charles M. Goethe, an early supporter and leader in the Playground Movement also supported eugenic actions, and Nazi sympathizing values, conflicted with the spirit and “good intentions” of the playground movement. 
  • Joseph Lee (Father of the American playground) and Howard Braucher (early secretary of the Playground Association of America) religious crusade-like enthusiasm to make playgrounds and play a conversion process toward Christian morals.  
  • A core aim of the Playground Movement was to transform immigrants into good (white) citizens and assimilate them into a democratic society. 
  • How leisure in utopian fiction was used to support eugenics.   
  • Debunks the hyper-individualistic narrative of Jane Addams, presented by most American leisure textbooks, that is cloaked in the ideology of American individualism and show how Jane Addams collectivistic sensibilities, and the collectivistic gestalt of the scores of Hull-House residents and volunteers, is what hade Hull-House flourish.  
  • Explains the controversial beginning and unknown end of the West Polk Street School/Hull-House Playground, Hull-House after the death of Jane Addams, and the 400 plus social settlement houses that existed in America in the early 1990s, including the African American South Side Settlement House founded by Ada S. McKinley.   
  • Examines the hidden and largely overlooked negative aspects or dis-beneftis of leisure services such as leisure that celebrates past killers and criminality and how leisure services can contributed to commercialized childhoods, sexual objectification of women, how people with disabilities can be manipulated in leisure partnerships and shows the upsetting and disturbing experiences when people from ethnic minority backgrounds engage in leisure in America.  
  • Reveals distortions and falsehoods in contemporary leisure interpretations and services and how many American leisure sites explicitly and implicitly embrace White supremacy ideology.