Swinging in Place: Porch Life in Southern Culture / Edition 1

Swinging in Place: Porch Life in Southern Culture / Edition 1

by Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807849774

ISBN-13: 9780807849774

Pub. Date: 11/12/2001

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

The front porch evokes cherished memories from across a lifetime for many southerners—recollections of childhood games, courtship, family visits, gossip with neighbors. In this book, Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon offers an original appreciation of the significance of the porch to everyday life in the South. The porch, she reveals, is not a simple place after all,

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Overview

The front porch evokes cherished memories from across a lifetime for many southerners—recollections of childhood games, courtship, family visits, gossip with neighbors. In this book, Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon offers an original appreciation of the significance of the porch to everyday life in the South. The porch, she reveals, is not a simple place after all, but a stage for many social dramas. She uses literature, folklore, oral histories, and photographs to show how southerners have used the porch to negotiate public and private boundaries—in ways so embedded in custom that they often go unrecognized. Her sources include writings by Dorothy Allison, William Faulkner, Ernest Gaines, Gloria Naylor, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lee Smith, as well as oral histories that provide varying racial, gender, class, and regional perspectives.

Originally derived from a number of ethnic traditions, the porch evolved in America into something both structurally and culturally unique. In this, the first serious study of the subject, Donlon shows how porch use and porch culture cross ethnic and cultural lines and discusses the transitional quality of the porch space—how it shifts back and forth, by need and function, between a place that is sometimes interior to the house, sometimes exterior.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807849774
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
11/12/2001
Edition description:
1
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Why Porches?1
1Setting Terms12
2Living the Everyday Life30
3Setting Boundaries of Race and Class57
4Shaping the Family98
5Fanning the Flames137
Conclusion: The Hope of Things to Come160
Works Consulted177
Index185

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