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Lecture 6

Political Science 2142A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Bess Myerson, Protestant Work Ethic, Bruce Fairchild Barton


Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 2142A/B
Professor
Alison Meek
Lecture
6

Page:
of 5
LECTURE – THE ROARING 20s
Prosperous times
oAmericans – working less hours, making more money – disposable
income
oContinued growth of national markets
Push to homogenize taste and values
oHENRY FORD’S AUTOMOBILES
Apprentice to a mechanic – always fascinated with cars
FIRST TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MASS PRODUCE THE
AUTOMOBILE
MODEL T – box on wheels with a steering wheel, all came in
back
Car culture – ford himself believes that it’s the car that gives
Americans real freedom
Teenagers can have a sense of freedoms, adults can get to
work, etc.
Spinoff effects – leather industry explode, paint industry
explodes, culturally based – rise of motels, architecture,
mafias and gangsters – getaway cars, etc.
Issue of buying on credit/installment
Didn’t need to have full amount in cash – put a deposit down
and pay a monthly sum
oWorking class – affordable
Becomes a huge millionaire
By mid 1920s, making $250k/day
Liberal – hired, paid and promoted African Americans – all treated
as equals
One of the first to make his factory accessible for the
disabled – vets coming back to the war
However, HE WAS A HORRIFIC ANTI-SEMITE
oOwn magazine arguing of Jewish conspiracies
oWon’t allow labour unions, etc.
oSon – takes over company later on – tries to repair
damage
oTHE CONSUMER AND NAME BRANDS
Campbell’s soup – marketed to kids
DEPARTMENT STORES – ONE STOP SHOP EMPORIUMS
A&P, Sears, etc.
Catalogue – accessibility to products
GOAL – WANT A CONSUMER WHO THEY CAN SELL ANYTHING
AND EVERYTHING TO – ADVERTISERS GOALS
Gender issues
oBRUCE BARTON AND ADVERTISING
Understood the purchasing power Americans had – protestant work
ethic holding Americans back from spending their money the best
way they can
Fights work ethic with fire – uses Jesus Christ in his
advertising
oAL CAPONE AND THE ANTI-HERO
Anti-hero – challenging the norms of society
AL [PHONSE] CAPONE – STANDS UP TO PROHIBITON LAWS
18th amendment – bans production, sale and consumption of
alcohol
definition – Volstead Act – anything having 0.5 alcohol in it
temperance movement – longstanding in the US
targeting immigrants & their way of life – Italians, Irish,
Germans, etc.
enforcement – real problem – treasury department
ohired 3k agents to police 12k miles of boarders and
coastlands
AL – based in Chicago with a family gang – Torrio gang
oGets rid of head of gang, creates his own
oBegins to take and consolidate control of all of
Chicago’s crime
oThe darling of Americans and the media, despite
being a bloodthirsty psychopath
He’s able to crack the glass ceiling and
become a multi-millionaire by exploiting this
amendment
Knew how to play the press – kill an enemy
gang member, would cover funerals and buy
flowers, etc.
Dancing the night away – always in the public
eye
oIRS – GOES AFTER HIM, GET HIM
oMISS AMERICA AND WOMEN IN THE 1920s
The suffrage movement and the vote – 1920 – yaay women can
vote
Feminist movement falls apart – young women didn’t want to
be politically active anymore – wanted to just have fun after
years of hardships
Social feminist – the New Woman
Independent women establishing themselves
Cult of beauty – women believed that having money, a job, meant
that they could spend their money on themselves however they
liked
Cosmetic industry – multi million-dollar industry
Estee Lauder, Coco Chanel
oWomen selling products to women
BEAUTY PAGEANTS
started out local – all changes in 1921
obusinessmen – knew that when labour day hit –
tourists died down – Atlantic city
beauty pageant to attract money after the end
of the regular season
o1921 – first miss America pageant
everyone competed as an individual
“needed a pretty smile, a good personality, and
willing to show up and appear in a bathing suit”
very feminine image
Margaret Gorum – first winner
oBESS MYERSON 1945
FIRST AND ONLY JEWISH AMERICAN THAT
HAS EVER WON MISS AMERICA
Coming out of the holocaust – not
surprising
oVANESSA WILLIANS, 1983
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO WIN MISS
AMERICA
Scandal – struggling model, posed
naked for Penthouse – crown taking
away after photos released
Scholarships to contestants – no scholarships for women at
the time – why can’t a woman who is beautiful get a
scholarship the same way a man can hit well in baseball??
oFLAPPERS
Tiny subsection of women in the 1920s – huge influence
The Great Gatsby, Feta Bara
Social context of feminism and pushing beyond the norms of
society
First time women were wearing skin-tight dressed that expressed
their curves
No nylons – more risqué
Look – dieting – androgynous – no breasts, hips, boyish figure,
Manish hair (bob), fashion – smoking, drinking, sexuality –
embracing premarital sex, enjoyed it for once,
oLANGSTON HUGHES AND THE NEW NEGRO
Background – rich family, grew up in middle/upper class
Washington, D.C.
Goes to Columbia university – edge of Harlem
African Americans post WWI