During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United States transformed from an essentially agrarian society into an urban, industrialized economy. In Making Men, Making Class, Thomas Winter explores the impact of these profound changes on constructions of manhood, using the YMCA's new efforts to reach out to railroad and industrial workers as a case study.
Starting in the 1870s, the leaders ("secretaries") of the YMCA sought to reduce political radicalism and labor unrest by instilling new ideals of manliness among workers. By involving workingmen in a range of activities on the job and off, the YMCA hoped to foster team spirit, moral conduct, and new standards of manhood that would avoid conflict and instead encourage cooperation along the lines of a Christian, pious manliness. In their efforts to make better men, the secretaries of the YMCA also crafted new ideals of middle-class manliness for themselves that involved a sense of mission and social purpose. In doing so, they ended up "making" class, too, as they began to speak a language of manhood structured by class differences.
Drawing on a rich trove of focus group data, interviews, and textual sources, Elaine Weiner's Market Dreams powerfully captures the varied responses of female managers and factory workers in the Czech Republic to their country's transition from socialism to capitalism. Her work, rooted in sociology and comparative feminism, is an important advance for the literature on women in Eastern Europe.
"Market Dreams is a conceptually-sophisticated and empirically-rich account of how the discourses and practices of the free market penetrated the hearts and minds of everyday Czech citizens. Weiner's provocative analysis takes readers inside the worlds of female factory workers to expose the discontinuities between their radiant market dreams and their everyday realities--and juxtaposes them to the continuities experienced by female managers. In the process, it challenges many of our ideas about post/socialism, marketization, and gender and reveals the enduring power of stories in shaping social identities and actions."
---Lynne Haney, Associate Professor of Sociology, New York University
"Through interviews and a careful analysis of newspaper articles written in the first decade after the collapse of state socialism, Weiner explores the complicated interconnections between personal stories and the emerging neoliberal metanarrative of the free market in the Czech Republic after 1989. Her book transcends many of the dichotomies with which researchers of post-state socialism have been struggling: 'East' vs. 'West,' losers and winners, emancipation vs. oppression, etc., and thus makes a truly novel contribution to our understanding of women's lives after state socialism."
---Éva Fodor, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, Central European University
"Weiner's rich and innovative study of female Czech managers and workers exemplifies the importance of narrative analysis for understanding why gender and class have not (yet) reconfigured the sense of postcommunism's alternatives. This is critical reading for feminists, class analysts, and students of postcommunist social change."
---Michael Kennedy, Director, Center for European Studies, University of Michigan
Elaine Weiner is Assistant Professor of Sociology at McGill University. Visit the author's website at: www.mcgill.ca/sociology/faculty/weiner/.
Cover Credit: Frank Scherschel/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth-Century Cuba challenges conventional ideas about the roots of Cuban race relations. Verena Martinez-Alier proposes a relational model for the study of sexual values and social inequality. She deals with Cuban notions of honor and virtue while describing complex interconnections between class and perceived racial status that determined the choice of sexual and marriage partners. First published in 1974, Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth-Century Cuba is now a classic, a pathbreaking encounter of anthropology with history that points the way for future investigations. With this edition, the work of this pioneering scholar is made available again, with a new introduction by the author.
This collection exemplifies the resurgence of Marxist ideas in contemporary social research. Its purpose is neither to cover all the areas of Marxist research nor to survey alternative Marxist perspectives or schools. Rather the volume assembles nine examples of the most interesting work being done today by younger sociologists who are seriously pursuing the rich and provocative arguments to be found in the ongoing Marxist tradition. All contributions build upon or react to Marxist theoretical perspectives. They employ such diverse research techniques as participant observation, statistical analysis, interviewing, and the examination of archives of public documents. Among the topics covered:
– the economic bases of state policies and their determination by social and political struggles;
– the politcal reshaping of international economic order;
– industrial work in relation to other institutions (such as education, patriarchy, and citizenship);
– the transformation of class structures in capitalist and state-socialist societies.
Published as a supplement to American Journal of Sociology, these studies constitute essential reading both for those sociologists who see Marxism as a powerful framework for understanding capitalist societies and for those who may not be committed to working within the Marxist tradition but nevertheless want to see Marxist hypotheses fully researched and debated.
Winner of theMihajlo Misa DjordjevicBook Prizeawarded by the North American Society for Serbian Studies
Metropolitan Belgrade presents a sociocultural history of the city as an entertainment mecca during the 1920s and 1930s. It unearths the ordinary and extraordinary leisure activities that captured the attention of urban residents and considers the broader role of popular culture in interwar society.
As the capital of the newly unified Yugoslavia, Belgrade became increasingly linked to transnational networks after World War I, as jazz, film, and cabaret streamed into the city from abroad during the early 1920s. Belgrade’s middle class residents readily consumed foreign popular culture as a symbol of their participation in European metropolitan modernity. The pleasures they derived from entertainment, however, stood at odds with their civic duty of promoting highbrow culture and nurturing the Serbian nation within the Yugoslav state.
Ultimately, middle-class Belgraders learned to reconcile their leisured indulgences by defining them as bourgeois refinement. But as they endowed foreign entertainment with higher cultural value, they marginalized Yugoslav performers and their lower-class patrons from urban life. Metropolitan Belgrade tells the story of the Europeanization of the capital’s middle class and how it led to spatial segregation, cultural stratification, and the destruction of the Yugoslav entertainment industry during the interwar years.
Harnessing concepts and theories from sociology, anthropology, and political science, this interdisciplinary study compares the vastly different experiences of two Croatian immigrant cohorts who have settled in the city of Perth in Western Australia. The populations explored represent an earlier group of working-class migrants arriving from communist Yugoslavia from the 1950s to 1970s and a later group of urban professionals arriving in the 1980s and 1990s as 'independent' or skills-based migrants. This latter group integrated into professional ranks but also used their Australian experience as a stepping stone in becoming part of a highly mobile global professional middle class.
Employing a refined theoretical analysis, this rich ethnography challenges the domination of the ethnic perspective in migration studies and the idea of ethnic community itself. It emphasizes the importance of class, focusing on the intersection of class, ethnicity, and gender in the process of migration, migrant incorporation and transnationalism. In theorizing the connection of the two migrant cohorts with their native Croatia the study introduces concepts of "ethnic" and "cosmopolitan" transnationalism as two distinctive experiences mediated by class.
He leaped from his chair, ripped off his microphone, and lunged at his ex-wife. Security guards rushed to intercept him. The audience screamed, then cheered. Were producers concerned? Not at all. They were getting what they wanted: the money shot.
From "classy" shows like Oprah to "trashy" shows like Jerry Springer, the key to a talk show's success is what Laura Grindstaff calls the money shot—moments when guests lose control and express joy, sorrow, rage, or remorse on camera. In this new work, Grindstaff takes us behind the scenes of daytime television talk shows, a genre focused on "real" stories told by "ordinary" people. Drawing on extensive interviews with producers and guests, her own attendance of dozens of live tapings around the country, and more than a year's experience working on two nationally televised shows, Grindstaff shows us how producers elicit dramatic performances from guests, why guests agree to participate, and the supporting roles played by studio audiences and experts.
Grindstaff traces the career of the money shot, examining how producers make stars and experts out of ordinary people, in the process reproducing old forms of cultural hierarchy and class inequality even while seeming to challenge them. She argues that the daytime talk show does give voice to people normally excluded from the media spotlight, but it lets them speak only in certain ways and under certain rules and conditions. Working to understand the genre from the inside rather than pass judgment on it from the outside, Grindstaff asks not just what talk shows can tell us about mass media, but also what they reveal about American culture more generally.