"The changing needs of our youth today": the response of 4-H to social and economic transformations in Twentieth-century North Carolina

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ellen Natasha Thompson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Charles Bolton

Abstract: Throughout the twentieth century, North Carolina underwent significant social and economic changes, experiencing a decline in small-scale agriculture, an end to racial segregation, and morphing views about roles for women and the nature of youth. This work explores these transitions through the experiences of North Carolina 4-H as it implemented new policies and practices in response to them, focusing primarily on the period from 1926 through 1979. Originally founded with the purpose of instructing rural youth in improved farming and farm-homemaking practices, the organization had by the mid-1960s begun broadening its programming, instructing young people in areas unrelated to agriculture. During this same period, it consolidated its segregated African American and white programs, a process that failed to immediately create meaningful integration. It was more successful in its efforts to remove sex-based restrictions on participation, a process fully completed in the late 1970s. Regardless of the decade, 4-H agents endeavored to shape the character of the youth they served, reflecting both agents' values on appropriate behavior and beliefs, along with an unwillingness to succumb to societal fears over rebellious youth culture. Along with these changes, 4-H remained connected to its agricultural past.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
4-H, Cooperative Extension, L.R. Harrill, North Carolina, Race, Youth Clubs
4-H clubs $z North Carolina $x History

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