Scouting and Guiding in Britain: The Ritual Socialisation of Young People

Catherine Bannister

Springer International Publishing AG
23 October 2022

Scouting and Guiding in Britain: The Ritual Socialisation of Young People

Catherine Bannister

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This book explores the prevailing role of rites of passage, ritual, and ceremony in contemporary children’s lives through the lens of modern-day incarnations of uniformed youth movements. It focuses on the socialising ritual and customary practices of present-day grass-roots Scout and Guide groups, asking how Britain’s largest and best-known uniformed youth organisations employ ritualised activities to express their values to their young members through language and gesture, story and song, dress, and physical artifacts. The author shows that these practices exist against a backdrop of culturally-constructed beliefs about what constitutes the ‘good child’ and ‘good childhood’ in twenty-first century Britain, with in-movement practices intended to help children develop positively and prepare for social life. The book draws on case study accounts of group performances, incorporating the voices of children and adults reflecting on their practices and experiences.

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