American Culture, American Tastes: Social Change and the by Michael Kammen

By Michael Kammen

In American tradition, American Tastes, Michael Kammen leads us on an pleasing, thought-provoking journey of America's altering tastes, makes use of of rest, and the transferring perceptions that experience observed them all through our nation's heritage. beginning on the time limit that late-nineteenth-century pop culture started to evolve into post-WWII mass tradition, Kammen charts the effect of advertisements and opinion polling; the advance of standardized items, buying facilities, and mass advertising and marketing; the separation of juvenile 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 resources as diversified 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 yank mass tradition and the contested meanings of relaxation, flavor, patron tradition, and social divisions that it has spawned.

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R~~-itu~"o rl;ist-~f~zi~zi f rgjg) by E-ferl>ertC;ehir (gelatin silver print) 7 . nrdL. Betrrnys (I 984) by i'a~icia 'ktc (ail on canvas) X. ernan as the ""King of J a m " in 1926 g. B ~ I PGOO~TFIIP'I F~ (I 960) by IZenG Roberr:Ulotlchi (oil on canvas) ro. Taste-fetrel chart from The hTrtRepub&, 34arch z, r ygz, p. 26 I I. 83 I 2 . H. Id,~Cle~fcken ( I 940) by r2t X lirschfelcf (gorraci-reor1 board) I 3. 0l&uvoad (I93 7 ) by TT"11omasI lart Bentcl11(tempera with oil on canvas) ,%r (1949)ty Nornzan Rockwell (oil on 14.

R(I949) 5 . 'lkslre-level chart drawn by " k m E"kzn1; for I,@ hlagadne, April I I, 1949, pp. 100-01 6. R~~-itu~"o rl;ist-~f~zi~zi f rgjg) by E-ferl>ertC;ehir (gelatin silver print) 7 . nrdL. Betrrnys (I 984) by i'a~icia 'ktc (ail on canvas) X. ernan as the ""King of J a m " in 1926 g. B ~ I PGOO~TFIIP'I F~ (I 960) by IZenG Roberr:Ulotlchi (oil on canvas) ro. Taste-fetrel chart from The hTrtRepub&, 34arch z, r ygz, p. 26 I I. 83 I 2 . H. Id,~Cle~fcken ( I 940) by r2t X lirschfelcf (gorraci-reor1 board) I 3.

Becatrse pupuiar culture did nest die and is not ready for interment. It: remains very rnuch with us, albeit more easily oljsewed in smaller towns than it1 large cities, in rural America more than urban or suburban, yet ubiquitous ~to~ze&eless in revivals as well as in some new 'ITVshows and radio programs, for example. iisl-inctive humnr mn~iveson fiim fri~rnthe 1930s and '+S, for example, her many years in vaudevi1lc and n i g h t d d s can never be recaptured or repmduccd. "I'he somewlrat less important criteria i~svolve matters of scale-such as ti~ausandsaf peopfe at an amusement park as appax"do maIly tens of millio~~s worldTNide watchia~gthe Super Bowl in Janrrary, for example-ar~d increasing depender-rce rrpo1-r technotogies of visual access, ei~tertainment,and inhmmation rather than avenues of personal access, sellri~sstructionor amusement, and kncs\vledge for its own sake rather tlran practical utility.

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