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Get Out of My Room!A History of Teen Bedrooms in America$
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Jason Reid

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226409214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226409351.001.0001

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A Little Wholesome Neglect

A Little Wholesome Neglect

(p.11) One A Little Wholesome Neglect
Get Out of My Room!

Jason Reid

University of Chicago Press

This chapter offers the reader a glimpse into the teen bedroom as it first emerged during the 19th century. Shifting economic, demographic, and technological trends are discussed in order to explain how privacy-oriented modes of living made the autonomous teen bedroom possible, particularly among middle-class, urban-dwelling girls. Similarly, firsthand accounts are provided in order to explain how some American youths carved out spaces of their own and what they actually did there when left to their own devices. Special emphasis is placed on the teen bedroom's value in encouraging literary pursuits, improving one's home-making skills, and bringing about spiritual growth. The chapter ends by pointing out how the separate bedroom ideal began to transcend its middle-class roots during the latter parts of the 19th century, attracting attention from segments of the population that had previously been excluded from taking part in this custom.

Keywords:   privacy, family size, housing, child-rearing, industrialization, urbanization, evangelical Christianity, technological change, Louisa May Alcott, Theodore Roosevelt

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