Childs discusses working-class family life and considers the changes that becoming a wage earner and a contributor to the family economy made to a youth's status within the home. He explores the significance of publicly provided education for the working class and analyses the labour market for young males, focusing on apprenticeship, future job prospects, trade unions, and wage levels. Childs investigates the patterns of labour available to boys at that time, including street selling, half-time labour, and apprenticed versus "free" labour, arguing that these were major factors in the creation of a semi-skilled adult work force. Turning to leisure activities among working-class youths, Childs looks at street culture, commercial entertainments, and youth groups and movements and finds that each influenced the emergence of a more cohesive and class-conscious working class.
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