Symbolizing America / Edition 1

Symbolizing America / Edition 1

by Herve Varenne
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0803296037

ISBN-13: 9780803296039

Pub. Date: 01/28/1986

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Anthropologists since Franz Boas and Margaret Mead have traditionally gone off to study “primitive” cultures. This collection of original essays breaks new ground in showing how anthropological theories and techniques can be applied to the culture of contemporary middle-class Americans.

In Symbolizing America, ten well-known anthropologists

Overview

Anthropologists since Franz Boas and Margaret Mead have traditionally gone off to study “primitive” cultures. This collection of original essays breaks new ground in showing how anthropological theories and techniques can be applied to the culture of contemporary middle-class Americans.

In Symbolizing America, ten well-known anthropologists pursue self and identity as cultural rather than psychological matters. Looking homeward, they ask “What Is American about America?” “How do we know?” and “What difference does it make?” They analyze such aspects of American culture as advertising, mass-audience movies, patriotic and ethnic parades, church minutes, college parties, greetings, and the dilemmas of adolescent sexuality. Concerned with familiar interactions, they arrive at new insight into the experience of daily life in America.

In their symbolic and semiotic approaches, the authors express the variety yet surprising unity of a dynamic American culture. Chapters include “Creating America,” “Doing the Anthropology of America,” and “’Drop in Anytime’: Community and Authenticity in American Everyday Life” by the editor, Hervé Varenne, Teachers College, Columbia University; “Freedom to Choose: Symbols and Values in American Advertising” by William O. Beeman, Brown University; “The story of [James] Bond” by Lee Drummond, McGill University; “The Melting Pot: Symbolic Ritual or Total Social Fact?” by Milton Singer, University of Chicago; “The Los Angeles Jews ‘Walk for Solidarity’: Parade, Festival, Pilgrimage” by Barbara Myerhoff and Stephen Mongulla, University of Southern California; “History, Faith, and Avoidance” by Carol Greenhouse, Cornell University; “The Discourse of the Dorm: Race, Friendship, and ‘Culture’ among College Youth” by Michael Moffatt, Rutgers University; “Why a ‘Slut’ is a ‘Slut’: Cautionary Tales of American Middle-Class Teenage Girls’ Morality” by Joyce Canaan, Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies; and an epilogue, “on the Anthropology of America,” by John Caughey, University of Maryland.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803296039
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
01/28/1986
Pages:
290
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Forewordix
Prefacexiii
Introduction1
Part ITelling America
Editor's Introduction13
1Creating America15
2Doing the Anthropology of America34
Part IICrafting America
Editor's Introduction49
3Freedom to Choose: Symbols and Values in American Advertising52
4The Story of Bond66
Part IIIImprovising America
Editor's Introduction93
5The Melting Pot: Symbolic Ritual or Total Social Fact?97
6The Los Angeles Jews' "Walk for Solidarity": Parade, Festival, Pilgrimage119
Part IVResolving America
Editor's Introduction139
7History, Faith, and Avoidance142
8The Discourse of the Dorm: Race, Friendship, and "Culture" among College Youth159
Part VDoing America
Editor's Introduction181
9Why a "Slut" Is a "Slut": Cautionary Tales of Middle-Class Teenage Girls' Morality184
10"Drop in Anytime": Community and Authenticity in American Everyday Life209
Epilogue: On the Anthropology of America, by John Caughey229
Notes251
References263
The Contributors277
Subject Index279
Author Index287

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