To establish ways to, subsequently, Americanize immigrants, according to Daniel E. Bender’s, Perils of Degeneration, Reform, the Savage Immigration, and the Survival of the Unfit, settlement houses and reform organizations demonstrated ways to Americanize new immigrants and encourage the elimination of the unfit. Established by the upper middle class, appropriately, settlement homes were placed in the immigrant neighborhoods. The environment that a person resided in determined the success or degeneration of new immigrants. Therefore, it seemed only appropriate that settlement houses and reform organizations “prevent the inheritance of degenerate traits” (Bender, 14). Fundamentally, degeneracy was viewed as a disease that could be cured.…show more content… Infants were equivalent to the earliest primates and childhood reflected savage and brutal life, however, also, a recreation of the experience of human evolution (Bender, 12). Children’s play was seen to be similar to savage rituals. The play movement taught that as children play they are revisiting each stage of human evolution and developing from primitive savages into civilized citizens (Bender, 18). In addition, children were then guided through a complete recapitulation of human racial history (Bender, 18). Settlement houses transformed the play aspect for children into work instinct. Street boy gangs within neighborhoods “exercised a powerful degenerative pull,” too (Bender, 12). These boys were undoubtedly savage. In order to end this degenerative power, settlement houses replaced the streets with civilization clubs and gymnasiums, in efforts civilize such primitive members. After learning the rules for games, received industrial training, and understood dramatic expressions gangs would then prosper into organized clubs (Bender, 15). Also, within these settlement homes, immigrants were taught about minstrel shows. The popularity of racially- themed plays in settlement houses reflected public enthusiasm as immigrants learned collective cooperation and individual creative leadership (Bender, 16).
After administering IQ to soldiers, in order to mobilize for war, this proved that settlement houses and reform