From Catharine Beecher to Martha Stewart

Author: Sarah A. Leavitt
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807860387
Format: PDF
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Today's domestic-advice writers--women such as Martha Stewart, Cheryl Mendelson, and B. Smith--are part of a long tradition, notes Sarah Leavitt. Their success rests on a legacy of literature that has focused on the home as an expression of ideals. Here, Leavitt crafts a fascinating genealogy of domestic advice, based on her readings of hundreds of manuals spanning 150 years of history. Over the years, domestic advisors have educated women about everything from modernism and morality to sanitation and design. Their writings helped create the idealized vision of home held by so many Americans, Leavitt says. Investigating cultural themes in domestic advice written since the mid-nineteenth century, she demonstrates that these works, which found meaning in kitchen counters, parlor rugs, and bric-a-brac, have held the interest of readers despite vast changes in women's roles and opportunities. Domestic-advice manuals have always been the stuff of fantasy, argues Leavitt, demonstrating cultural ideals rather than cultural realities. But these rich sources reveal how women understood the connection between their homes and the larger world. At its most fundamental level, the true domestic fantasy was that women held the power to reform their society through first reforming their homes.

Re creating the American Past

Author: Richard Guy Wilson
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 9780813923482
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Although individually and collectively Americans have many histories, the dominant view of our national past focuses on the colonial era. The reasons for this are many and complex, touching on stories of the country's origins and of the founding fathers, the privileged position in history granted the thirteen original colonies, and the ways in which the nation has adjusted to change and modernity. But no matter the cause, the result is obvious: images and forms derived from and related to America's colonial past are the single most popular form of cultural expression. Often conceived solely in architectural terms, from the red-brick and white-trimmed buildings that recall eighteenth-century James River estates to the clapboarded saltboxes that recall early New England, Colonial Revival is in fact better understood as a process of remembering. In Re-creating the American Past, architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson and a host of other scholars examine how and why Colonial Revival has persisted in modern times. The volume contains essays that explore Colonial Revival expressions in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, decorative arts, and painting and sculpture, as well as the social, intellectual, and cultural background of the phenomena. Based on the University of Virginia's landmark 2000 conference "The Colonial Revival in America," Re-creating the American Past is a comprehensive and handsome volume that recovers the origins, characteristics, diversity, and significance of the Colonial Revival, situating it within the broader history of American design, culture, and society.

Family theme parks happiness and children s consumption From roller coasters to Pippi Longstocking

Author: David Cardell
Publisher: Linköping University Electronic Press
ISBN: 9176859797
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book provides an ethnographic contribution to research on children’s consumption, family life and happiness. Various and shifting notions of happiness are explored, as well as conditions for and challenges to happiness, through an analysis of video-recorded interviews and mobile ethnography conducted in two of the most popular theme parks in Sweden. Initially, the study outlines how previous research has conceptualized happiness in association with time and place in a rather static way. Based on a treatise of notions of happiness in philosophy and the social sciences, there is a turn in this thesis towards practice. It generates fundamental knowledge about the complexity of happiness. By employing this approach, it is possible to highlight how happiness is enacted as part of and in relation to ideals of family life, time, childhood, money, consumption, experiences and material things. As we explore the practices of children and their families, we discover that shifting meanings of happiness are located in contemporary culture, where emotions and consumption are of central importance. The approach is interdisciplinary, and draws on theoretical and methodological contributions in sociology, anthropology and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Notions of meshwork and enactment become important for the exploration of happiness as a complex and changing matter, which productively involves social relations and material things. Throughout the thesis there is a dialogue with previous research on happiness, consumption and childhood which highlights the importance of exploring messy practices, in movement. It is argued that explorations of practice contribute to a critical understanding of how happiness and contemporary ideals of childhood can be approached – through consumption and as part of citizenship in a consumer society where happiness is of central importance. Abstract [sv] Denna avhandling utgör ett etnografiskt bidrag till forskning om barns konsumtion, familjeliv och lycka. Genom en analys av videoinspelade intervjuer samt familjebesök till två av Sveriges mest välbesökta temaparker utforskas skiftande betydelser av lycka, liksom dess förutsättningar och utmaningar. Tidigare temaparks-forskning har generellt tagit lyckans existens för given. Utifrån en inledande diskussion om bland annat olika filosofiska och samhällsvetenskapliga lyckoteorier argumenterar avhandlingen för att studier av praktik tillför ny och grundläggande kunskap om lyckans komplexa sammansättningar. Avhandlingen visar därigenom att lycka iscensätts som en del av – och i förhållande till – ideal om familjeliv, tid, barndom, pengar, konsumtion, upplevelser och materiella ting. Genom att fokusera på barn och deras familjers praktiker lokaliseras lyckans skiftande betydelser i en samtidskultur där emotioner och konsumtion är centrala. Avhandlingens ansats är tvärvetenskaplig och hämtar teoretisk och metodologisk inspiration från sociologi, antropologi samt teknik- och vetenskapsstudier (STS). Genom denna ansats synliggörs sammanflätningar av sociala relationer och materiella ting som produktiva i iscensättandet av lycka. Genom en dialog mellan empiriska beskrivningar och forskning om lycka, konsumtion och barndom belyser avhandlingen nödvändigheten av att synliggöra och utforska röriga och rörliga praktiker. Det bidrar till en kritisk förståelse av praktik som kan förändra hur vi närmar oss lycka och samtida barndomsideal – som konsumenter och medborgare i ett lyckosträvande konsumtionssamhälle.

Marriage and Family

Author: H. Elizabeth Peters
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231520026
Format: PDF
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Family life has been radically transformed over the past three decades. Half of all households are unmarried, while only a quarter of all married households have kids. A third of the nation's births are to unwed mothers, and a third of America's married men earn less than their wives. With half of all women cohabitating before they turn thirty and gay and lesbian couples settling down with increasing visibility, there couldn't be a better time for a book that tracks new conceptions of marriage and family as they are being formed. The editors of this volume explore the motivation to marry and the role of matrimony in a diverse group of men and women. They compare empirical data from several emerging family types (single, co-parent, gay and lesbian, among others) to studies of traditional nuclear families, and they consider the effect of public policy and recent economic developments on the practice of marriage and the stabilization or destabilization of family. Approaching this topic from a variety of perspectives, including historical, cross-cultural, gendered, demographic, socio-biological, and social-psychological viewpoints, the editors highlight the complexity of the modern American family and the growing indeterminacy of its boundaries. Refusing to adhere to any one position, the editors provide an unbiased account of contemporary marriage and family.