Uniform Diversity? Youth Organisations in the Antipodes c. 1880–1939

  • John Griffiths
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


An article which appeared in the British Empire Exhibition Supplement to The Times in September 1924 contemplated the appeal of New Zealand as a destination for migrating British women. During the course of the article, it was observed that ‘the first lesson to learn in inter-Empire relations is that what is different is not necessarily wrong. It is just different. Life in the Dominion has modified many old British customs. The differences are small, but essential to fit into the scheme of colonial life’.1 This chapter explores this comment in relation to the historical evolution of youth movements in the Antipodes. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, a perceived ‘youth problem’ in urban Britain led to the creation of a cluster of organisations which aimed to take youth off the street and into uniform, in the process placing them largely under adult supervision.2 From enrolment, youths were invariably recipients of programmes designed to instil a greater sense of national and imperial citizenship, but the balance between the two has been comparatively under-explored. Indeed, the questions posed in the late 1970s by Michael Hoare - ‘what did the Empire think about youth and society?’ and whether youth movements in the wider Empire ‘mirrored, paralleled or contradicted the ideas from “home”’ - are still to be fully answered.3


Imperial Structure Uniform Diversity Youth Organisation Imperial Culture Guide Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© John Griffiths 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Griffiths
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HumanitiesMassey UniversityNew Zealand

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