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Coming of Age: Constructing and Controlling Youth in Munich, 1942-1973

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Coming of Age

Constructing and Controlling Youth in Munich, 1942-1973

Martin Kalb

Full Text PDF Made available under a CC CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

286 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-153-4 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (May 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78920-819-1 $19.95/£15.95 / Pb / Published (July 2020)

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“Employing a ‘top-down’ approach and utilizing an impressive array of archival sources, contemporary periodicals, and oral histories, Kalb's work does a remarkable job of balancing the views of authority figures and young people… Highly recommended.” • Choice

“…makes a substantial contribution to the growing literature on the generational divides that shaped postwar Germany.” • International Social Science Review

“Without doubt, the great value [of this study] lies in having widened the scope of the predominantly social-historical research on youth through cultural and discursive perspectives.” • H-Soz-Kult

“This is a strong contribution to the (still under-researched) post-war history of West Germany, one that also provides fresh insights into the histories of European youth and Cold War cultural politics. It transcends traditional markers of German history such as Stunde Null, moving from a ‘generational’ approach to one more rooted in the everyday history of youth.” • Alan McDougall, University of Guelph


In the lean and anxious years following World War II, Munich society became obsessed with the moral condition of its youth. Initially born of the economic and social disruption of the war years, a preoccupation with juvenile delinquency progressed into a full-blown panic over the hypothetical threat that young men and women posed to postwar stability. As Martin Kalb shows in this fascinating study, constructs like the rowdy young boy and the sexually deviant girl served as proxies for the diffuse fears of adult society, while allowing authorities ranging from local institutions to the U.S. military government to strengthen forms of social control.

Martin Kalb is an Associate Professor of History at Bridgewater College in Virginia. His research on Modern Germany and its empires, with an emphasis on the histories of everyday life (Alltagsgeschichte), youth, and environmental history, has appeared in academic journals, edited volumes, and other venues.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentSociology
Area: Germany

Coming of Age by Martin Kalb is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

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OA ISBN: 978-1-78920-959-4


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