Examining the encounters between the girls and the new arm of the state in Cook County, Illinois, Anne Meis Knupfer illuminates the origin of American notions of gender and delinquency. Combining rigorous research with passionate writing, Reform and Resistance is a good story about bad girls.
Anne Meis Knupfer received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and is a professor of Education at Purdue University. She is the author of Toward a Tendered Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood: African-American Women's Clubs in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago.
"...the author largely succeeds not only in delineating the competing motivations and goals of the various actors involved in the operation of Chicago's juvenile court system over its first three decades, but also in explaining how their interaction produced outcomes significantly different from those anticipated by its architects. In so doing, she also articulates a brilliantly nuanced model for analyzing the life history of other Progressive Era reforms...As the author concludes, we all- as scholars, citizens, and human beings- have much to learn from the successes and failures of Chicago's juvenile court system. No one can even pretend to undertake that process without thoroughly digesting Reform and Resistance." -- John D. Buenker, University of Wisconsin- Parkside, for theJournal of Illinois History
"Knupfer . . .provides fascinating and original information on the definitions, causes and cures for female delinquency [with] an impressive range of primary sources. . .A necessary purchase for research collections on criminal justice, social welfare, women's history, or Chicago." -- Library Journal
"Anne Meis Knupfer is part of a new crop of historians who insist on uneasy complexity, revealing children as actors in their own history and making us revisit the vexing present with new eyes." -- Bernardine Dohrn, Children and Family Justice Center, Northwestern University
"Building on provocative and intimate records of the institutional experiences of young women whose lives were touched by the juvenile justice system in Chicago a century ago, Reform and Resistance is a distinguished contribution to the scholarship on the history of social policy, criminal justice, and the professionalization of urban reform." -- Michael Sedlak, author of Selling Students Short
"Anne Meis Knupfer has written a rich and meticulously researched study. . . . she recovers the drama, texture, and complexities within the story of gender and juvenile delinquency." -- Karen Tice, author of Tales of Wayward Girls and Immoral Women
"Anne Meis Knupfer does a marvelous job of charting the contested terrain of female delinquency in the early twentieth century. This theoretically sophisticated and richly documented history raises significant questions about the nature and mission of American juvenile justice. Reform and Resistance is a timely book that deserves a wide readership." -- David S. Tanenhaus, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
"An impressive range of primary sources ... is widely cited. A necessary purchase for research collections on criminal justice, social welfare, women's history, or Chicago." -- Library Journal, October 15, 2001
"Anne Meis Knupfer analyzes the role of maternalism in the creation of Chicago's juvenile court and its local institutions for delinquent and dependent female children... she uses discourse theory to read the "scripts" written by reformers, insitutions, families, and adolescents." -- American Historical Review
"The strengths of Reform and Resistance include an impressive and extensive bibliography as well as detailed footnotes that bring together many relevant theoretical approaches and current debates." -- Michigan Historical Review