Great Depression And The Middle Class Analysis

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eat Depressions and the Middle Class: Experts, Collegiate Youth and Business Ideology, 1929-1941 Daniel J Walkowitz. Journal of Social History. Fairfax: Spring 2008. Vol. 41, Iss. 3; pg. 792, 3 pgs Abstract (Summary) McComb argues that, as students saw the country emerging from the depression, they began to demand social guidance from social "experts" and found it in newly idealized mass market marriage manuals that told men that a good trophy woman belonged in the home and claimed women were empowered in finding trophy husbands who could provide them with middle-class status Collegiate youth are a good gateway to professional-managerial work (with all the complexities of class identity that formulation entails), and this monograph may…show more content…
Stearns Spring 2008 Great Depressions and the Middle Class: Experts, Collegiate Youth and Business Ideology, 1929-1941. By Mary C. McComb (New York: Routledge, 2006. viii plus 207 pp. $95.00). Languages of class and discourses about class are minefields through which historians take steps at some risk. This monograph by Mary C. McComb on how college youth and experts negotiate their class identity as "middle class" during the economic crises of the Great Depression enters this conceptual quagmire, but although she occasionally comes close to tripping a fuse, she emerges with some illuminating pathways. McComb has crafted a tidy research monograph with well chosen cases in order to focus on the formation of a class-based discourse on middle-class identity in a decade when the economic basis of class privilege was undermined by weakened depression-era prospects. Close readings of student newspapers at five colleges and Universities contrast the views of relatively privileged Amherst College men with those of their female peers at Mount Holyoke. She then sets these perspectives against those of less elite collegiate youth at two additional private institutions, but in these cases coeducational schools in urban settings (Washington, DC) with distinctly different racial student bodies-the white George Washington University and the black Howard University. Finally, McComb fills out her research with the case of students from a land grant public university, the University of Michigan, where she was completing the dissertation on which this book was based. This comparisons allows McComb to trace differences by gender and race at the same time as she surveys the range of the relatively privileged slice of American youth who attended college during the
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