Across the British empire and the world, the 1920s and 1930s were a time of unprecedented social and cultural change. Girls and young women were at the heart of many of these shifts. Out of this milieu, the Girl Guide movement emerged as a response to modern concerns about gender, race, class, and social instability. In this book, Kristine Alexander analyzes the ways in which Guiding sought to mould young people in England, Canada, and India. It is a fascinating account that connects the histories of girlhood, internationalism, and empire, while asking how girls and young women understood and responded to Guiding’s attempts to lead them toward a “useful” feminine future.
Kristine Alexander is an assistant professor of history and Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies at the University of Lethbridge.