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NCJ Number: 121123 Find in a Library
Title: Smoky Pilgrims (From White Trash: The Eugenic Family Studies 1877-1919, P 55-65, 1988, Nicole Hahn Rafter, ed. -- See NCJ-121120)
Author(s): F W Blackmar
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Northeastern University Press
Boston, MA 02115
Sale Source: Northeastern University Press
Managing Manager
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The hereditary nature of pauper characteristics is demonstrated in this study of a Kansas family known as the Smoky Pilgrims.
Abstract: The Smoky Pilgrims consisted of three generations of one tightly knit family. The discussion of this family is organized around two basic themes. The first theme holds that large eastern cities have no monopoly on social corruption and that rural areas have their own social ills. The second theme concerns the need to intensify social control in rural areas where isolation, monotony, and lack of supervision encourage pauper and criminal characteristics. It is envisioned that more stringent restrictions, especially on "country boys" who are permitted to "run at large," will raise the level of morality. Despite the emphasis on hereditary influences in social degeneration, environmental solutions are advocated, specifically institutionalization. Unlike later family studies which recommend institutionalization as a means to prevent reproduction, the author favors it for its power to encourage self-restraint and teach higher ideals. He concludes that low-class families are particularly dangerous to the community and are difficult to deal with because they have no social role.
Main Term(s): Biological influences
Index Term(s): Caucasian/White Americans; Criminality prediction; Family histories; Kansas; Social conditions
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