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A once rural nation, supported largely by family farms, became an industrial giant and cities became true population centers rather than simply ports of trade. Prior to the industrialization, immigrants had tended to create communities, either within a city or within a region, and maintained their ethnic identity. With all manner of working class men and women flocking to the cities, those cultural distinctions began to fade.

In addition, as working class women forced society to become more comfortable with their choices in recreation and socialization, middle class women who were less effected by the liberation that came with working, found a desire to echo the freedoms of their poorer sisters. The change culminated with the decadence of the s. Finally, the lifestyle choices of the working class women of the turn of the century led the country down a path away from the traditional church and home focus.

Because women were seeking alternate entertainment and no longer marrying immediately upon leaving school, society as a whole became less centered on the family and on the church. The industrialization of the country ultimately led to the American woman developing her own identity and forcing American men to accept her as more of a partner and less of a servant in their relationships.

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In other case essay4less. Please note that if you request a refund, we may require documented proof that the quality of your order is low e. Should you feel it necessary to make a refund request, we will immediately forward your order to our Quality Assurance Department. Most activities were heterosocial, focused on meeting men, dating and romance. Young working-class women also experimented with identity, trying on new images by adopting the cultural forms around them, including music and language.

Clothing was a highly visible and therefore potent way to play with notions of respectability, allure and independence. Each assertion of distinct identity was a potential source of conflict, which would become a hallmark of adolescence throughout the twentieth century. Participation in social life, parental supervision, spending money, and clothing were common issues of conflict. The autonomous heterosocial culture young working-class women created was also a source of cross-class conflict.

Although many Americans were debating new ideas about womanhood, sexuality and leisure, Victorian values continued to guide most middle-class women, including reformers who turned their attention to the working-class.

For them, cheap amusements were a social problem that not only threatened the virtues of chastity and decorum among single women, but also the primacy of motherhood and domesticity. They segregated youth from family, fostered a dangerously expressive culture and were linked to promiscuous sexuality. Reformers hoped to limit, redefine and even purify behavior by regulating commercial amusements and creating single-sex social clubs for young working-class women. The cheap amusements these young working-class women preferred offered an arena for the articulation of new values and behaviors.

The resulting shift from homosocial to heterosocial culture, and the redefinition of gender relations it required, played a role in the wider passage from Victorian culture to modernism. The desire for self-determined pleasure, sexuality and autonomy expressed by these young working-class women would also prove to be a compelling issue throughout the twentieth century.

Oct 23, Vicki rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Studying work by Peiss is standard fare for courses that touch on cultural history, sexuality, gender, and American pop culture. Which makes this work a scholarly classic. Working-class women are the focus, particularly immigrant women or daughters of immigrants, living in NYC between and Essentially Studying work by Peiss is standard fare for courses that touch on cultural history, sexuality, gender, and American pop culture.

With money to spend, single, working women begin to enter into mixed-sex social situations i. For Peiss, what all of this boils down to is, working-class women created new forms of behavior through their leisure activities, which changed gender roles and contributed to the growth of a mass culture.

And it is a reason to love her. Because certainly at the time she wrote this, women were not seen as a serious driving force behind major changes in history. Peiss really hits her stride once she relates the female consumer to the rise of commercialization.

Corporations began thinking, how can we make bank on single ladies? Cheap Amusements is not perfect. This book obviously can't give readers an accurate picture of what women did in their free time in the rural south in It elevates the importance of a small, unique group of people and alienates those not in it.

So readers may believe men played more of a role in the development of leisure time. This book is great anyways. May 04, Jessica rated it it was amazing Shelves: So I was mostly reading this for the purposes of writing an essay on how working-class women in turn-of-the-century North America experienced their sexuality, and this book is positively brilliant for learning about that.

It draws extensively on primary sources as you would hope I guess, but I digress One aspect I found particularly interesting was the phenomenon of "treat So I was mostly reading this for the purposes of writing an essay on how working-class women in turn-of-the-century North America experienced their sexuality, and this book is positively brilliant for learning about that.

One aspect I found particularly interesting was the phenomenon of "treating", by which working-class women would expect their male companions to pay the cost of an outing, their entertainment needs, etc. It seems that there was a kind of continuum from this behaviour, through casual prostitution, to "fully-fledged" prostitution However, the practice of "treating" seems to have been qualitatively different, a far more liberating practice which ascribed far more agency to the woman involved.

Which is not to say that working women in the s were all sexually free and liberated - far from it! In the last chapter, chapter seven, Peiss describes how bourgeois women tried to create some kind of cross-class solidarity among women.

I found this interesting because it seems to me that Peiss, as a feminist, really sympathises with these bourgeois reformers' aims, but working women of the time evidently did not! Working-class women, by and large, identified with the men of their own class before the women of the bourgeoisie; they resented bourgeois women's individualism and identified with the labour struggle instead if they were political and even if they were not, they preferred to mingle with men - and enjoyed the freer sexual culture of the working class - to stuffy, stultifying notions of respectability.

In all honesty, this was a really fun book to read - and short too! Goodreads claims it's pages, but the copy I read is more like , plus endnotes and index etc. I am not even kidding. May 23, David Bates rated it it was amazing. It did, however, find support in the commercial relationship which emerged with businesses and venues that profited by commodifying leisure. Apr 07, Jaime Rispoli-Roberts rated it really liked it.

At the end of the 19 century and the beginning of the 20th, new leisure activities emerged. As New York became more industrialized many girls of working class immigrant families had to find work outside of the home.

Businessmen were quick to pick up on this and many new activities were crea At the end of the 19 century and the beginning of the 20th, new leisure activities emerged.

Businessmen were quick to pick up on this and many new activities were created or increasingly more commercialized to appeal to a younger, more Americanized generation.

Ultimately, this influenced a new mass culture of leisure, which in turn, created a new set of drawbacks for women.

May 20, Jessi rated it really liked it. A good, well-written book that illustrates an oft ignored topic- the leisure patterns of young women.


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Amusement came in a variety of forms such as: social clubs, dances, variety shows, amusement parks, cheap theatre, nickel dumps, and even standing on the street corner. The businessman's goal was to make a profit off of these activities.

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An essay or paper on Role of Cheap Amusements. An extremely interesting, but ever-contradictory sociological study of sexual relationsis presented in the Kathy Peiss book Cheap Amusements. The reason I say that it is ever-contradictory is that the arguments are presented for both the benefit of cheap amusements for a woman s place in societ.

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Peiss, Kathy. (). Cheap Amusements. New York: Temple University. In Cheap Amusements, Kathy Peiss studies the customs, values, public styles, and ritualized interactions expressed in leisure time of the working-class women living in New York. Cheap Amusements Essay Peiss’s book, Cheap Amusements, was about women’s roles at the turn of the century in New York. Her main idea was that working women at the turn of the century were trying to create more leisure time and autonomy despite the stereotypes that came with some of this newfound independence.

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Cheap amusements became a real problem especially for the women of the late nineteenth century. The amusements were blamed for debasing womanly virtues, segregating youth from family and fostering a dangerously expressive culture. Cheap amusements essays out of 10 based on 15 ratings. 10 (Letters , Indexes) []. mohawk college resume help homework help software "The anthology presents custom writing service number a highly engaging sample of cheap amusements essays divergent viewpoints.