Journal article

Be Home By Dark: Childhood Freedoms and Adult Fears in 1950s Victoria

Carla Pascoe

Australian Historical Studies | UNIV MELBOURNE | Published : 2009

Abstract

Oral history narratives construct the 1950s as a time of immense freedom for Australian children; roaming the streets happily and safely until night-fall. These idyllic recollections are framed by a set of contemporary concerns about the over-protected twenty-first century child. And yet the introduction, by a range of government agencies, of a variety of strategies to protect juvenile safety suggests that adult fears for children existed in the post-war years. This paper explores the seeming contradiction between the existence of such restrictions and the memories of carefree youth in 1950s Victoria.