Unwrapping Christmas / Edition 1

Unwrapping Christmas / Edition 1

by Daniel E. Miller, Miller
     
 

In an age of secularization and the decline of ritual, Christmas has emerged as the most promising candidate for the first global festival. It is celebrated in the Christian West as well as in many countries with either a minority or no Christian population. How is it that Christmas is not merely surviving, but actually gaining in importance?

Unwrapping Christmas

See more details below

Overview

In an age of secularization and the decline of ritual, Christmas has emerged as the most promising candidate for the first global festival. It is celebrated in the Christian West as well as in many countries with either a minority or no Christian population. How is it that Christmas is not merely surviving, but actually gaining in importance?

Unwrapping Christmas is the first comparative study of the Christmas phenomenon, based on direct observation of how the festival is actually celebrated in diverse social contexts. It begins by presenting general theories of Christmas and includes the first full English translation of "Father Christmas Executed" by Claude Levi-Strauss. The focus then turns to two controversial issues: the relationship between Christmas and materialism, and the debate over the place of the family in Christmas celebrations. Both of these issues are examined and interpreted in a variety of cultural contexts; including the USA, Japan, Britain, Sweden, and Trinidad.

Christmas is rapidly becoming the focus for a constellation of activities including gift-giving, the marking of the seasons, and the celebration of extended family networks. This collection, the first systematic analysis of Christmas, represents a fascinating and significant contribution to understanding how and why this holiday has developed into the global festival celebrated today.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198280668
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/28/1995
Series:
Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology - Cultural Forms Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1A Theory of Christmas3
2Father Christmas Executed38
3The Rituals of Christmas Giving55
4Materialism and the Making of the Modern American Christmas75
5Cinderella Christmas: Kitsch, Consumerism and Youth in Japan105
6Christmas against Materialism in Trinidad134
7The English Christmas and the Family: Time out and Alternative Realities157
8Christmas Cards and the Construction of Social Relation in Britain Today176
9Christmas Present: Christmas Public193
10The Great Christmas Quarrel and Other Swedish Traditions217
Index235

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >