By Michael Kammen
In American tradition, American Tastes, Michael Kammen leads us on an exciting, thought-provoking travel of America's altering tastes, makes use of of rest, and the moving perceptions that experience followed them all through our nation's historical past. beginning on the cut-off date that late-nineteenth-century pop culture started to evolve into post-WWII mass tradition, Kammen charts the effect of ads and opinion polling; the improvement of standardized items, purchasing facilities, and mass advertising; the separation of teenybopper and grownup tradition; the connection among "high" and "low" artwork; the commercialization of prepared leisure; and the ways that tv has formed mass tradition and consumerism has reconfigured it. In doing so, he attracts from assets as various and wealthy because the paintings of esteemed cultural theorists, "The Simpsons," jigsaw puzzles, Walter Winchell's gossip columns, Whitman's poetry, Warhol's paintings, "Sesame Street," and the Book-of-the-Month Club.With wit and ingenuity Kammen lines the emergence of yankee mass tradition and the contested meanings of relaxation, style, patron tradition, and social divisions that it has spawned.
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Extra resources for American Culture, American Tastes: Social Change and the Twentieth Century
At the state Eair and video garnes, a r betweer-r ""soping" d ~ boarde walk at Coney XsIal-rd or Atlantic City and sufrrng the Weit at 130rne*j2 bC"hicb leaifs to the d i s t i ~ ~ e t that i ~ n matters most. I regard popdar cutmre---not [zlwi~ys br,t mnr-e +er$ ~hrnlant-as participatory and interactive, wl-rereasmass culture (until the 19805, when computers caused sigrrificar~tcl-rangesthat lrave yet to Ite fully charted)," m m o$e~ rhnrz rzot induced passiviry and the priivatizatiar-r of culture, In writing about l?
Po~g)ular,perhaps, and midcllebro\v surely, but not mass. Its subscribers were numerous though L-rardiytyrast-tens of thousands but not yet rniUior-rs. 'IWO more iltustratio~lrsshould suffice, In iloting the poputarir). '"AIthollgh it is true that XXenry Ford had dieirroeratized access to the automobile by the end oftfie 1gzos, olvnership remained particularly an upper- and middle-income phenomeIiagi. NeitIizer the urban Inasses nor the rural poor went auto-ca~nping. eeirher began a r achieved h11 Bower.
F"he process of chaxzge over time, however, has Izat been neatly linear "Dt Inore nearly cyclical, with widely shared culmral tastes more notiiccafile early (seventeenth to mid-ni netecn th CJFculccnturics) and late (sincc the rgdos), whereas the sepcr-reatiot~ tural tastes was more prominent in between, Inquiries lrave certainly demonstrated that sharp distincdons between high ctslmre and low did Izat jet oi~tainduring the first half af the nineteexzth century, whether ane looks at museums, carnivafs, the audier-rces for painting or for Shakespeare,""' 'I'he sirnation in wctorian A ~ c r i c ais more complex, and there is considerably less consensus ;zmong srudents of tlre tater nineteenth c c t ~ a t qOl-rekpreferences depej-rda great deal upon the modes af cultural, experience or-re chooses to examine.
American Culture, American Tastes: Social Change and the Twentieth Century by Michael Kammen