Cheap Amusements Essay, Research Paper

Peiss, Kathy. Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of -the-Century

New York ( Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1986 ) .

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Kathy Peiss describes the leisure activities of immature working adult females populating in New York during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in her book Cheap Amusements. The book explores the outgrowth of a immature female working category and the struggle the adult females encountered with the & # 8220 ; Old World & # 8221 ; traditions. Peiss besides explores the commercialisation of leisure and the socialisation of female leisure. The consequences of these alterations brought about what Peiss calls: & # 8220 ; inexpensive amusements. & # 8221 ;

During the in-between 19th century, adult females observed & # 8220 ; Old World & # 8221 ; traditions in regard to leisure. Most leisure activities for adult females were labour oriented and close personal relationships between adult females were frowned upon as pervert. Peiss explains this during the first few chapters of Cheap Amusements. The outgrowth of a immature female working category caused a strain on the & # 8220 ; Old World & # 8221 ; traditions and leisure activities for adult females became controversial. The traditional function of adult females was altering due to the economic force per unit areas from industrialisation. As more immature adult females began to work in the same conditions as immature work forces, adult females gained the right to prosecute in amusement as a adult male would. Peiss discovers the commercialisation of amusement to back up the adult female & # 8217 ; s & # 8217 ; battle for leisure freedom. The business communities in amusement saw the female working population as an untapped market for working.

The amusement concern was dining due to the industrialisation of metropoliss and the demand for leisure activities for the big population of workers. Amusement came in a assortment of signifiers such as: societal nines, dances, assortment shows, amusement Parkss, inexpensive theater, nickel mopess, and even standing on the street corner. The man of affairs & # 8217 ; s end Washington

s to do a net income off of these activities. With the exclusion of standing on the street corner, most leisure activities were commercialized and turned a net income.

In resistance to the man of affairs were the female parents and male parents that still lived by & # 8220 ; Old World & # 8221 ; traditions and did non desire their girls or boies prosecuting in some of the activities. The development of heterosexualism was highly controversial and Peiss sites this as a major hang-up in the changing of female leisure activities. The outgrowth of the dance hall and the attention of these constitutions by unattended females were a primary concern for conservativists. The construct of & # 8220 ; picking up & # 8221 ; that is, two aliens run intoing for the first clip and basking each other & # 8217 ; s company for the dark, was the new fad. ( 102 ) . The female parents and male parents saw this as an act of discourtesy for 1s self and an development of gender. The battle to keep control over the leisure activities of a immature miss became even more hard whenever she was working. Most female parents had non made money as a bachelor girl and balked at the wants of their girls to pass their free clip at these new activities that involved immature work forces.

Kathy Peiss makes the universe of a immature working female in New York City, populating around the bend of the century, come to life in less than two 100 pages. The writer & # 8217 ; s book is a success because of the colourful manner she describes the struggles that occur throughout the book. Any reader of history would happen this book a good resource for research every bit good as gratifying reading. Furthermore, a research worker of sociology would happen the information in the book to be of involvement, particularly if they are interested in the adult females & # 8217 ; s motion in modern America.


Peiss, Kathy. Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of -the-Century

New York ( Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1986 ) .


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