Household Accounts
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Household Accounts

Working-Class Family Economies in the Interwar United States
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ISBN-13:
9780801454264
Einband:
EPUB
Seiten:
256
Autor:
Susan Porter Benson
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
EPUB
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

With unprecedented subtlety, compassion and richness of detail, Susan Porter Benson takes readers into the budgets and the lives of working-class families in the United States between the two world wars. Focusing on families from regions across America and of differing races and ethnicities, she argues that working-class families of the time were not on the verge of entering the middle class and embracing mass culture. Rather, she contends that during the interwar period such families lived in a context of scarcity and limited resources, not plenty. Their consumption, Benson argues, revolved around hard choices about basic needs and provided therapeutic satisfactions only secondarily, if at all.Household Accounts is rich with details Benson gathered from previously untapped sources, particularly interviews with women wage earners conducted by field agents of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. She provides a vivid picture of a working-class culture of family consumption: how working-class families negotiated funds; how they made qualitative decisions about what they wanted; how they determined financial strategies and individual goals; and how, in short, families made ends meet during this period. Topics usually central to the histories of consumption—he development of mass consumer culture, the hegemony of middle-class versions of consumption, and the expanded offerings of the marketplace—contributed to but did not control the lives of working-class people. Ultimately, Household Accounts seriously calls into question the usual narrative of a rising and inclusive tide of twentieth-century consumption.

Susan Porter Benson takes readers into the budgets and the lives of working-class families in the United States between the two world wars.

With unprecedented subtlety, compassion and richness of detail, Susan Porter Benson takes readers into the budgets and the lives of working-class families in the United States between the two world wars. Focusing on families from regions across America and of differing races and ethnicities, she argues that working-class families of the time were not on the verge of entering the middle class and embracing mass culture. Rather, she contends that during the interwar period such families lived in a context of scarcity and limited resources, not plenty. Their consumption, Benson argues, revolved around hard choices about basic needs and provided therapeutic satisfactions only secondarily, if at all.

Household Accounts is rich with details Benson gathered from previously untapped sources, particularly interviews with women wage earners conducted by field agents of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. She provides a vivid picture of a working-class culture of family consumption: how working-class families negotiated funds; how they made qualitative decisions about what they wanted; how they determined financial strategies and individual goals; and how, in short, families made ends meet during this period. Topics usually central to the histories of consumption—he development of mass consumer culture, the hegemony of middle-class versions of consumption, and the expanded offerings of the marketplace—contributed to but did not control the lives of working-class people. Ultimately, Household Accounts seriously calls into question the usual narrative of a rising and inclusive tide of twentieth-century consumption.

A Note on Household Accounts and Its Preparation
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. "Living on the Margin": Working-Class Marriages and Family Survival Strategies2. "Cooperative Conflict": Gender, Generation, and Consumption in Working-Class Families3. The Mutuality of Shared Spaces4. What Goes 'Round, Comes ’Round:Working-Class Reciprocity5. The Family Economy in the MarketplaceClass, Gender, and Reciprocity: An Afterword
by David MontgomeryNotes
Index

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