Homeward bound elaine tyler may

Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound weaves two traditional narratives of the fifties -- suburban domesticity and rampant anticommunism -- into one compelling historical argument.

Homeward bound elaine tyler may

Elaine Tyler May aims to illustrate the connection between foreign and political policy and family dynamics during the post war and Cold War eras.

She posits that political containment bred domestic containment. After World War II Americans married in greater numbers and with more stable, longer lasting marriages than previous generations. May argues that such uniform longing for marriage and families was not a passive act during the Cold War but rather a political statement.

A secure family and home was how Americans could maintain their way of life against the communist threat. Lowell Kelly initiated in the late s. He contacted couples who had announced their engagement in New England local newspapers and then sent questionnaires to the subjects every few years over the next twenty years.

The questionnaires asked about everything from happiness in their marriage, careers, children, sexuality, hopes and worries in questions that often elicited additional sheets explaining their answers. The couples that participated were primarily white, Protestant, and upper middle class.

May begins with a story about a newlywed couple who are going to spend their two-week honeymoon living inside a bomb shelter. A photograph from Life Magazine shows the couple on the lawn with their supply of canned goods and other provisions sprawled out beside them.

The couple seems perfectly content to spend two weeks alone with nothing but a few consumer goods and each other. The second and third chapters of Homeward Bound recount the marriage and work patterns before the depression through the war.

During the financial strain of the depression marriage rates and birth rates were much lower than in the previous decade. Marriages ended in divorce at higher rates during this time as well.

The low marriage rates was caused by the fear that a young man would not be able to provide for his new family as well as because of the boom in employment for women during this time gave them a sense of economic control, even if it was going to support their parents, and they did not feel compelled to marry.

May offers previous scholarship and popular culture, especially movies, to illustrate this claim. By nearly 30 percent of women were employed but despite the Rosie the Riveter image of working women they did not have the opportunities that men did and were discouraged from working when concern for the future of family life for these women appeared.

Hollywood again followed suit by displaying their previously single heroines of the s in a new domestic capacity.

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The next three chapters concern the sexual fear and awakening during this time. After the atomic bomb was dropped and the capacity for retaliation realized, theories of sexual chaos emerged.

Ties between communism and sexual depravity were widely believed and those who engaged in any sexual activity beyond the norm between a married man and woman were considered deviants or perverts who would spread their poisonous views.

As methods of birth control become more widely available and a period of relative familial stability could have allowed couple to wait longer before having children or limit the number of children they had.

The fact that the birth rates rose from their depression era lows indicate that there was an intentional decision to have children in the numbers they were having, creating the baby boom with a peak in At the same time women were learning how to stock pantries and bomb shelters in case on emergencies, how to cook with makeshift utensils, rotate canned goods, and maintain first aid and emergency kits.

The cozy depiction of a dad, mom, and child in a shelter were safe from the chaos on the outside. The Federal Civil Defense Administration made pamphlets and posters depicting mannequins inside bomb shelters being okay while those outside of the shelters were maimed after an attack.

In the face of these new worries the s became the era of experts. Experts would tell you if you were in danger of radiation poisoning, how to raise your children, and why your relationship is in trouble.

Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era - Elaine Tyler May - Google Books

Therapy had reached new heights in the mids. The seventh chapter covers the rise in consumer goods purchased by Americans and the resurgence in suburbs. The increase in appliance sales and in home ownership lead to the development of tract housing and communities of pre-fabricated and mass produced houses that were capable of being expanded as families grew and windows were strategically placed so that mothers could watch their children playing in the yard from the kitchen.

With all this emphasis on family and children women did resent not having a career or independence from familial obligations. The generation who got married and raised children in the post war years had a much lower divorce rate than previous generations but it eventually caught up with them.

The KLS responses indicate that women were not happy with their relationships or that in an effort to raise their children they had neglected their own interests and desires. The pressure of having the perfect marriage, children and house was too much to bear at times and psychiatric therapy was sought as an alternative to divorce.

Case studies recounted the pressure from authorities of various sorts to conform to these ideals which May offers as proof that this happy home phenomenon was created by an outside force in attempt to maintain American freedom in the Cold War era.Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era List: 20th Century.

Subjects: Feminism, Consumerism, Cold War, Suburbia, Gender. Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound weaves two traditional narratives of the fifties -- suburban domesticity and rampant anticommunism -- into one compelling historical argument.

Aiming to. Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era List: 20th Century.

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Subjects: Feminism, Consumerism, Cold War, Suburbia, Gender. Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound weaves two traditional narratives of the fifties -- suburban domesticity and rampant anticommunism -- into one compelling historical argument.

Aiming to ascertain why, unlike both their parents and children. "Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound is a revelatory and path-breaking work, a brilliant excavation of the gender bedrock beneath the surreal landscape of Cold War American life. By connecting the bomb and the bedroom, the fallout shelter and the nuclear family, May links the personal with the political on profound new levels."Reviews: Elaine Tyler May Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era New York: Basic Books.

Homeward bound elaine tyler may

pp. Elaine Tyler May aims to illustrate the connection between foreign and political policy and family dynamics during the post war and Cold War eras. Homeward Bound by Elaine Tyler Words | 6 Pages.

Through my understanding of the book, Homeward Bound by Elaine Tyler May explores two traditional depictions of the s, namely suburban domesticity and anticommunism. Elaine Tyler May’s Homeward Bound Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound weaves two traditional narratives of the fifties -- suburban domesticity and rampant anticommunism -- into one compelling historical argument.

May, Homeward Bound