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Revealing Practices: Youth Privacy in the Twentieth Century U.S.

Led by: Victoria Cain

Revealing Practices: A History of Youth Privacy in America is the first comprehensive history of adolescent privacy in the modern United States. It pries open a century of disputes over how much of an adolescent’s self should be revealed—and to whom. As the contours of adolescent privacy were teased out in classrooms and computer labs, libraries and locker rooms, the offices of school nurses and the cars of school resource officers, it pays special attention to conflicts over adolescent privacy in educational settings. Whether centered on psychological testing or mandated reporting laws, sex ed curricula or social media, contests over adolescent privacy provoked lengthy discussion of the respective rights and roles of mature minors, families, and schools. By recovering these debates and the events that prompted them, Revealing Practices will provide essential historical context for contemporary policy decisions about adolescent and family privacy.

Project sponsor/grantor:

  • Spencer Foundation

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