Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/204910
Title:
American Holidays, A Natural History
Author:
Prendergast, Neil
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Embargo: Release after 07/08/2013
Abstract:
This dissertation examines the production and consumption of nature in middle-class American holidays. Focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it follows the creation of new symbols and practices associated with Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In each of these holidays, members of the middle class used nature to narrate their new identity as Americans belonging less to local, regional, or ethnic communities and more to the nuclear family and the nation. In Thanksgiving, the turkey became an important symbol in the antebellum era, the same period in which the Easter rabbit was born, the Fourth of July picnic became popular, and the Christmas tree rose to prominence. These trends resulted from the middle-class desire to make the home an idealized private life complete with its own rituals and symbols that separated it from the public life of the street. While the middle class retreated into its imagined private sphere, it did so while simultaneously claiming that their families represented the core building blocks of the nation. By conflating family and nation, the middle class generated a large demand for the physical goods that made such symbolic meaning manifest--in particular, Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees. Reproducing these plants and animals, however, created agroecological problems, including crop diseases. While middle-class family holidays reinforce the scales of popular culture and mass agriculture, they do so only tenuously.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
middle class; nature; production; History; consumption; holidays
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; History
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Morrissey, Katherine

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAmerican Holidays, A Natural Historyen_US
dc.creatorPrendergast, Neilen_US
dc.contributor.authorPrendergast, Neilen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseEmbargo: Release after 07/08/2013en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines the production and consumption of nature in middle-class American holidays. Focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it follows the creation of new symbols and practices associated with Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In each of these holidays, members of the middle class used nature to narrate their new identity as Americans belonging less to local, regional, or ethnic communities and more to the nuclear family and the nation. In Thanksgiving, the turkey became an important symbol in the antebellum era, the same period in which the Easter rabbit was born, the Fourth of July picnic became popular, and the Christmas tree rose to prominence. These trends resulted from the middle-class desire to make the home an idealized private life complete with its own rituals and symbols that separated it from the public life of the street. While the middle class retreated into its imagined private sphere, it did so while simultaneously claiming that their families represented the core building blocks of the nation. By conflating family and nation, the middle class generated a large demand for the physical goods that made such symbolic meaning manifest--in particular, Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees. Reproducing these plants and animals, however, created agroecological problems, including crop diseases. While middle-class family holidays reinforce the scales of popular culture and mass agriculture, they do so only tenuously.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectmiddle classen_US
dc.subjectnatureen_US
dc.subjectproductionen_US
dc.subjectHistoryen_US
dc.subjectconsumptionen_US
dc.subjectholidaysen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMorrissey, Katherineen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWeiner, Douglasen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberIrvin, Benjaminen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRobbins, Paulen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMorrissey, Katherineen_US
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