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Raising Germans in the Age of EmpireYouth and Colonial Culture, 1871-1914$
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Jeff Bowersox

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641093

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641093.001.0001

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Living Empire

Living Empire

Pathfinders and Conflicts between Patriotism and Pedagogy

(p.165) 5 Living Empire
Raising Germans in the Age of Empire

Jeff Bowersox

Oxford University Press

chapter traces the early years of the Pathfinders (Pfadfinder), an organization modeled on the British Boy Scouts’ use of adventurous colonial frontiers to reform how young people lived their lives. The movement drew support from young Germans interested in the exotic and adventurous but also faced challenges from powerful conservative critics who decried its “foreign” character and predicted that its liberating potential would undermine any educational potential. Paradoxically, the changes critics forced upon the organization undermined the progressive colonial pedagogy that had proven so popular in the first place. The early development of the Pathfinders demonstrates the resonance of the colonial world with reformist sentiment as well as the difficulty of reconciling colonial exoticism with the national and imperial projects promoted by state sponsors.

Keywords:   pfadfinder/pathfinders, scouting, pedagogical reform, commercial culture, youth movement, young germany league/jungdeutschlandbund, nationalism, chauvinism, colonialism, militarism, masculinity

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