New and Improved: The Transformation of American Women's Emotional Culture

Overview

As the Victorian era drew to a close, American culture experienced a vast transformation. In many ways, the culture changed even more rapidly and profoundly for women. The "new woman," the "new freedom," and the "sexual revolution" all referred to women moving out of the Victorian home and into the public realm that men had long claimed as their own.

Modern middle-class women made a distinction between emotional styles that they considered Victorian and those they considered ...

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New and Improved: The Transformation of American Women's Emotional Culture

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Overview

As the Victorian era drew to a close, American culture experienced a vast transformation. In many ways, the culture changed even more rapidly and profoundly for women. The "new woman," the "new freedom," and the "sexual revolution" all referred to women moving out of the Victorian home and into the public realm that men had long claimed as their own.

Modern middle-class women made a distinction between emotional styles that they considered Victorian and those they considered modern. They expected fulfillment in marriage, companionship, and career, and actively sought up-to-date versions of love and happiness, relieved that they lived in an age free from taboo and prudery.

Drawing on the diaries, letters, and memoirs of women from a wide range of backgrounds and geographic regions, this volume offers insights into middle-class women's experiences of American culture in this age of transition. It documents the ways in which that culture—including new technologies, advertising, and movies—shaped women's emotional lives and how these women appropriated the new messages and ideals. In addition, the authors describe the difficulties that women encountered when emotional experiences failed to match cultural expectations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...[a] compelling book that is extremely relevant to our own times."

-The Journal of American History,June 2002

Journal of American History
...[a] compelling book that is extremely relevant to our times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814780459
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Series: History of Emotions Series
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

John Spurlock is Chair of the Humanities Division at Seton Hill University.

Cynthia Magistro is Associate Professor of Psychology, both at Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Self and Emotion in the Early Twentieth Century 1
2 Flaming Youth 17
3 The Single Woman 53
4 The Flapper Wife 87
5 The Silver Cord 117
6 The Fountain 151
Notes 171
Index 207
About the Authors 213
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