Made In America A Social History Of American Culture And Character Pdf

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Throughout the twentieth century, historians have tried to assess the significance of the West, regarded, by some critics, as "the most distinctively American part of America" Bryce In the late nineteenth century, Frederick Jackson Turner, the founding father of Western history, attributed the unique American character to the experience of the frontier. According to Turner, the westward movement Americanized the pioneer, shaped American institutions, and promoted democracy. Criticism culminated in the emergence of "New Western History", in the late s.

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It is a well-known fact that Americans, unless they live in a major metropolitan city such as New York City, have a disability that impedes driving or are too poor to afford a vehicle are wedded to their cars.

Seiler wants to show that driving has become identified with citizenship and that the United States has become a republic of drivers. Once the 20th century was drawing to a close, historians and other academicians started to take a greater interest in researching automobile history, rather than paying so much attention to rail transport and travel.

What was a relative dearth of scholarship, not so much on the production of cars and automotive entrepreneurs, but on the use of these vehicles, has more recently turned into a welcome body of books and articles examining a variety of aspects of automobility ranging from car design, to industrial relations, through car salesmanship and on to gender and literary and filmic analysis.

Seiler sets out to write a different narrative. Driving has become a key component of the American character and is an essential part of the modern form of American individualism. How does Seiler make his case? He selects two periods of automotive history for analysis, the pioneer years from through the s and the post-war boom years of the s. Both of these periods witnessed a rise in car sales and the development of highway infrastructure and both experienced a crisis in or renegotiation of individualism.

Seiler argues that the first period witnessed the acceptance or more likely the establishment of driving as a way of life. Indeed he suggests that mass automobility had arrived by because the car was already perceived to be the agent of transforming characteristics for Americans. How did this happen? The advent of strong organisations early in the 20th century threatened the demise of sovereign selfhood, which was deemed to be a key quality of the American character.

The new political economy was seemingly tied into co-operation rather than personal independence. Americans needed to find a new way of expressing themselves within or against organisations, whether these were the growing power of government, the tyranny of the factory regulated by scientific management or masculine dominance in the public arena.

Driving a car could give primarily white middle-class and working-class men a sense of social sovereignty in a world of economic abundance. They had the freedom and increasingly the ability to choose among a range of consumer goods and brands.

Driving offered a new means of masculine expression even though it was bound by traffic regulations. For women driving offered the potential of freedom and liberation from housework. It also suggested fashionability, self-determination and competence. Moving to the s, Seiler extends his thesis about cars and self-expression. These were the years in which car registrations rose from 40 million to 62 million and when there was one automobile for every three persons. For Seiler this massive expenditure and the consolidation of a new level of automobility can be perceived as an American response to the Cold War struggle between capitalism and communism.

Here was a conflict between two irreconcilable political ideologies; the United States was committed to the freedom of the individual and the Soviet Union was based on the centrality of the collective will.

Some Western European countries were also experimenting with socialism. The construction of the interstate system was not exclusively a result of Cold War anxieties, but it was a key catalyst. Driving on these super highways could distinguish Americans from Soviets. Driving could also be a counterbalance to the managerial culture that had been consolidated by the triumph of American industrial capitalism during the Second World War and the following years.

Bureaucracy and bureaucratic communities had come to dominate both business management and political life and the individual, whether a white, blue or pink collar worker, was increasingly required to conform in order to succeed or to survive. American consumers were also persuaded into conformist quiescence by a barrage of advertising, even though this differentiated between brands of goods and services.

Driving, however, could reaffirm autonomous individuality. It was capable of re-fashioning this key quality of the American personality to fit in with the modern corporate model of organisation. Drivers might be constrained by uniform traffic regulations and find that access to interstate highways was limited, but they were free to express themselves in flexible ways within these porous boundaries.

The peculiar combination of flexibility and coercion for American drivers leads Seiler into some interesting dilemmas connected to citizenry. The s may not have been well known as an era of civil rights in the same way as the following decade, but the roots of the equality struggle were visible, perhaps more so for African Americans than for women and ethnic minorities. Seiler recognises the black American pursuit of equal automobility by devoting a chapter to examining the risks, perils and pleasures of African Americans when driving and owning a car.

As fitting with his cultural approach to history he uses midcentury travel guides published between and as an entry point to demonstrating how racial attitudes and policies shifted. These texts provide insights into the complex and often contradictory language and ways in which black Americans traversed the public space of the road and joined the expanding culture of automobility.

Discrimination, violence and intimidation sit side by side with greater access to both vehicles and the roads, especially beyond the confines of the American South. It was impossible to deny access to increasingly standardised spaces like interstate highways and black Americans behind the wheel could approach first-class citizenship, if driving was a requirement for that status. Women were seemingly not offered this type of first class citizenship because driving was still perceived to be a masculine activity despite the rising numbers of female drivers.

In the s anxieties about the feminisation of American culture, the decline of rugged masculine traits and the perceived transformation of American society into a matriarchy suggested that men could and should continue to claim authority and self-expression through their motor vehicles.

Suburban women might need access to the family vehicle in order to run the modern household efficiently, but they were deemed at best to be timid drivers. More likely they were inept drivers who should not be trusted behind the wheel and they continued to be the butt of male humour. Republic of Drivers is essentially a history of an important aspect of American thought and culture. The automobile and more particularly the act of driving is the vital ingredient of change which allows the re-formulation of key national characteristics, most notably individualism and self-reliance in an age of organisation, bureaucracy and global politics.

Mobility is also another indispensable component of American dynamism and democracy and the changing face of motoring offers new and inventive ways of considering what it is to be an American.

In surveying, amalgamating and moving on from a vast array of sources Seiler has suggested many thoughtful pathways for considering American notions about the self and the social and political community. He draws as much, if not more, from theoretical and philosophical writings as he does from automotive texts and archives.

As such he offers a treatise that will be read and used more by intellectual and cultural historians and those in the interdisciplinary area of American Studies rather than by transport and business historians. While the book is well researched and executed and will doubtless be received as offering a clever and nuanced argument, it is not always easily digestible. Readers need to be fully conversant with both theory and empirical materials drawn from diverse disciplines in order to engage fully with the narrative.

This is a pity. Many Americans and many who live elsewhere who are concerned about the prospect or the possibility of following American trends could profitably read this volume. But they may become discouraged by the post-structural language and the assumption that everyone respects critical theory.

Some historians may also question the decision to use two particular periods of automobility from which to argue and whether indeed mass automobility had arrived by Nevertheless Republic of Drivers is likely to become compulsory reading for anyone researching automotive history and may well become a major text for American Studies students who are trained to think in interdisciplinary ways. Skip to main content.

The author does not wish to respond to this review. Gelber, Horse Trading in the Age of Cars. Men in the Marketplace Baltimore, Early Women Motorists Baltimore, Work on tourism, especially if grounded in sociology, has been much more willing to engage with modernist cultural approaches.

Summary to Washington DC. Back to 3 July

Made in America

The culture of the United States of America is primarily of Western origin, but is influenced by a multicultural ethos that includes African , Native American , Asian , Pacific Island , and Latin American people and their cultures. It also has its own distinct social and cultural characteristics, such as dialect , music , arts , social habits , cuisine , and folklore. The United States is ethnically and racially diverse as a result of large-scale migration throughout its history, and through African-American slavery and emancipation. The varieties of English people, as opposed to the other peoples on the British Isles, were the overwhelming majority ethnic group in the 17th century population of the colonies in was , and were The English ethnic group contributed to the major cultural and social mindset and attitudes that evolved into the American character. Large non-English immigrant populations from the s to , such as the Germans , or more , Scotch Irish , , added enriched and modified the English cultural substrate, The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America, Ed.

Amy G. By Claude S. In Made in America sociologist Claude S. Are there distinctively modern individuals, and if so, what are the culture and character of such individuals? The result is a sweeping synthetic argument that is grounded in personal stories from the past. Writing for historians, sociologists, and other academics, as well as a general readership, Fischer argues that mainstream American culture has changed little since the colonial period. Where social historians have so often chronicled change, he finds evidence for continuity—or more precisely, the expansion of certain patterns

The book Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character, Claude S. Fischer is published by University of Chicago Press.

Television's Impact on American Society and Culture

TV is a constant presence in most Americans' lives. With its fast-moving, visually interesting, highly entertaining style, it commands many people's attention for several hours each day. Studies have shown that television competes with other sources of human interaction—such as family, friends, church, and school—in helping young people develop values and form ideas about the world around them. It also influences viewers' attitudes and beliefs about themselves, as well as about people from other social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

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Recently, American social behavior during the s has been compared, both favorably and unfavorably, with the attitudes and culture of the United States during the years — The past two decades of rebellion, student protest, liberal sexual practices, radical politics, and strong civil and women's rights movements have all passed. Beam, J.

Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character

By Claude S.

Это были простые воспоминания: как он учил ее есть палочками, как они отправились на яхте к Кейп-Коду. Я люблю тебя, Сьюзан, - подумал.  - Помни это… .

Клянусь, что я тебя пальцем не трону. Сьюзан пыталась вырваться из его рук, и он понял, что его ждут новые проблемы. Если даже он каким-то образом откроет лифт и спустится на нем вместе со Сьюзан, она попытается вырваться, как только они окажутся на улице. Хейл хорошо знал, что этот лифт делает только одну остановку - на Подземном шоссе, недоступном для простых смертных лабиринте туннелей, по которым скрытно перемешается высокое начальство агентства. Он не имел ни малейшего желания затеряться в подвальных коридорах АНБ с сопротивляющейся изо всех сил заложницей.

Но я слышу какие-то звуки. Далекий голос… - Дэвид. Он почувствовал болезненное жжение в боку. Мое тело мне больше не принадлежит. И все же он слышал чей-то голос, зовущий .

Где она изучала математику. Как она попала в АНБ. Как ей удалось стать столь привлекательной.

Она показывает восемнадцать… - Коммандер Стратмор велел вам уйти. - Плевал я на Стратмора! - закричал Чатрукьян, и его слова громким эхом разнеслись по шифровалке. - Мистер Чатрукьян? - послышался сверху звучный возглас. Все трое замерли. Над ними, опираясь на перила площадки перед своим кабинетом, стоял Стратмор.

Вы же сказали… - Мы к нему пальцем не притронулись, - успокоил ее Стратмор.  - Он умер от разрыва сердца. Сегодня утром звонили из КОМИНТа. Их компьютер через Интерпол засек имя Танкадо в регистратуре полиции Севильи.

Родители… Сьюзан. О Боже… Сьюзан. Впервые с детских лет Беккер начал молиться.


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    Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character. By. Claude S. Fischer (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, x plus pp.

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