The Archaeology of Class in Urban America

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This book explores the material dimensions of class formation in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, and nineteenth-century Lowell, Massachusetts. During their economic peaks these cities represented perhaps the purist forms of capitalism in North America. The two cities reveal contrasting portraits of class identity, one based upon the analysis of material culture and spatial practices, and one based upon the examination of environmental conditions and health. This ground-breaking study argues that notions of class incorporating variables such as ethnicity and gender were shaped by the shifting ecologies of capitalism itself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An important contribution to the understanding of 18th- and 19-th century urban life." — Choice

"...The Archaeology of Class in Urban America is a strong example of the multifaceted, interdisciplinary research that characterizes historical archaeology as a field of inquiry. ... delivers on its promises. ...It is a rich interdisciplinary text...accessible and interesting to a wide array of audiences. —H-Net Reviews

"...this volume is a valuable contribution to the literature of historical archaeology. It is well illustrated, parsimoniously written, intelligent and imaginative in its interpretation of the empirical evidence and historical literature." —Canadian Journal of Archaeology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107407633
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2012
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Archaeology
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen A. Mrozowksi is Director of the Fiske Memorial Center for Archeological Research and Professor of Archeology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of numerous articles, and co-editor (with James A. Delle and Robert Paynter) of The Lines that Divide: Historical Archaeologies of Race, Class and Gender (2003). He also serves on the editorial board of The International Journal of Historical Archaeology.

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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Individuals in context: the world of eighteenth century Newport; 3. Shifting the focus: archaeology of the urban household; 4. A new world created: nineteenth century Lowell; 5. Interrogating the experiment: Lowell's urban space and culture; 6. Conclusion: contested spaces and the threads of everyday life; 7. Epilogue: towards a dialectical archaeology of class; Appendix A. Isolating and dating archaeological assemblages in the urban context.

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