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America culture and society in the 1920s

Lynn Dumenil’s account of the era commonly referred to as the “roaring twenties” in The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s there is an intentional emphasis placed on the effort to dispel the popular notion that the new, revolutionary transformations in culture and society that took place at this time in history were direct results of the First World War.

In the stead of this less insightful means of analyzing the 1920’s in America by assuming that the post war era was a direct creation and consequence from the war, the author offers the suggestion that the seeds of the twenties were planted much earlier during the industrial revolution and through the effects of a culture … Showed first 120 words of 1136 Size (words) … Continuing with another 115 out of 1136 Size (words) … are aspects to this period that I feel this particular text does not give proper acknowledgement to.

Dumenil does a good job of showing the prevailing winds of the time and analyzing the forces that pushed society forward into what it is today; however, little is said about the opposing forces that tried to collectively pull back the reigns of capitalism, secularism, and urbanization.These forces, which came in the form of the Industrial Workers of the World, William Jennings Bryan, and many others who attempted to retain the Victorian way of life also played an instrumental role in shaping society through their broad range of dissent from the path of urbanization

When most of us take a backward glance at the 1920s, we may think of prohibition and the jazz age, of movies stars and flappers, of Harold Lloyd and Mary Pick ford, of Lindbergh and Hoover–and of Black Friday, October 29, 1929, when the plunging stock market ushered in the great depression.But the 1920s were much more.

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Lynn Dumenil brings a fresh interpretation to a dramatic, important, and misunderstood decade.

As her lively work makes clear, changing values brought an end to the repressive Victorian era; urban liberalism emerged; the federal bureaucracy was expanded; pluralism became increasingly important to America’s heterogeneous society; and different religious, ethnic, and cultural groups encountered the homogenizing force of a powerful mass-consumer culture. The Modern Temper brings these many developments into sharp focus. Praise “The Modern Temper is an engaging, stimulating, and thoughtful re-creation of one of our most interesting and complex decades.

”Lynn Dumenil’s The Modern Temper provides an exciting and original synthesis of a crucial decade that few of us really understand. She makes the insights and confusions of the women and the men of the twenties come alive. This is an important book. “–Ellen Dubois, University of California at Los Angeles “Dumenil offers wealth of fresh insights on a fascinating decade. This illuminating study subtly recasts our understanding of an era whose tensions and stresses often uncannily parallel those of our own day. “–Paul Boyer, University of Wisconsin

Synopsis: when most of us take a backward glance at the 1920s, we may think of prohibition and the jazz age, of movies stars and flappers, of Harold Lloyd and Mary Pick ford, of Lindbergh and Hoover–and of Black Friday, October 29, 1929, when the plunging stock market ushered in the great depression. But the 1920s were much more. Lynn Dumenil brings a fresh interpretation to a dramatic, important, and misunderstood decade. As her lively work makes clear, changing values brought an end to the repressive Victorian era; urban liberalism emerged; the federal bureaucracy was expanded; pluralism became increasingly important to America’s

heterogeneous society; and different religious, ethnic, and cultural groups encountered the homogenizing force of a powerful mass-consumer culture. The Modern Temper brings these many developments into sharp focus. Turning to the flip side of the ’20s’ flapper image, Dumenil looks at the darker side of the decade forming the “central motifs that have shaped the modern American temper. ” Between the end of WWI and the stock market crash, the aura of get-rich-quick prosperity overshadowed tensions resulting from the highly skewed distribution of wealth.

The unfettered capitalism of the time is reflected by Calvin Coolidge, who said, “the man who builds a factory builds a temple. The man, who works there, worships there. ” In 1920, for the first time, half the U. S. population lived in cities. While life grew more organized, complex and sexually liberated, the reaction increased, too. Capitalists fanned a Red Scare following the 1919 Bolshevik Revolution, forcing American reformers to confront this inflated fear along with homegrown poverty and racism.

Dumenil points to the mass consumer culture, corporate mentality, job structure that eroded individual autonomy, assembly lines, intense special-interest lobbying in Washington and the fusion of sexuality with consumption as among the decade’s legacies to later American culture. Readers may wish that Dumenil spent more time on countervailing radical forces (Rand School of Social Science; Scott Nearing; Max Eastman’s The Masses; Industrial Workers of the World, the IWW) that contributed to the ferment of this formative era.

Even so, she has captured the fire of this volcanic time and weaves together scores of social and political threads into an insightful overview. American culture in the 1920,s and beyond has had a great significance up to date. The culture invented in those days is still in place and most people and groups still practice and keep the souvenirs so that they can pass from one generation to another. Religious influence is also to be seen in situations where new migrants have made residential decisions. polarizations of ethnic religious groups in the 1920’s to present day America the major division is that of protestants and Catholics.

Social interaction within the city is often on the basis of these broad religious groupings which can over ride ethnic divisions. For example, the Dutch immigrant community is more likely to mix the Swedish immigrant community than with Italian because of religious affiliations. The third major religious group is that of the Jewish community and has a strong sense of territory and strong social processes internal to the community but with relative loose connection with other communities. Agricultural practices where practiced by farmers in rural areas.

Most farmers began to drift from the highlands and into the lowland alluvial plains. They had been attracted by the greater agricultural fertility of the soil but what is certain is that the move led to profound changes in agrarian practice. Most farmers favored as an independent originator of agriculture, appears the most prolific. Among the crops which first emerged in the Americas where maize, potatoes, manioc, cacao, squash and tobacco, and among the animals where the llama, the turkey, and the guinea pig.

Industrial revolution was latter invented which affected agriculture, transport, social organizations and urbanization. In fact there were few facet of life left untouched by them. in addition to this, it maybe argued that the changes which took place during the period conventionally recognized as that of industrial revolution had the origin sometimes many centuries earlier. In that sense the period was not one of revolution, but one in which there was a marked quickening of the processes already begun and underway. But few would deny that the industrial revolution marks one of the major transformations in history.

it is important in this context because as well as its social and economic impact, it had profound geographical consequences. The social structure or political opinion of neighborhood influences the individual voting decisions. the neighborhood effect is similar to a diffusion process in that political attitudes spread within a district in several cities in U. S. A individuals of relatively low socio-economic class living in middle class neighborhoods are less likely to vote democratic (the traditional party of lower class voters ) than if they live in a lower class neighborhood.

The individuals are affected in their voting behavior by the information and political environment of their area of residence. The degree of this influence is termed the neighborhood effect The process underlying the neighborhood effect depends on the probability of contacts of the voter with someone who will provide political information. This probability of contacts depends not only on social groupings in the neighborhood. Lynn dumenill’s account on all this issues is discussed in dept and formed the core values of the American culture.

although a lot as borrowed from the past years and history the incorporation of it in the 1920’s made a strong cultural impact and the Americans also tend to keep their culture but due to intermarriages and new inhabitants heading to America. Most people doesn’t follow or know their past culture well unless they read from books References: Richard Marchand, 1985. Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

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