Cover: Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals, from Harvard University PressCover: Celebrating the Family in PAPERBACK

Celebrating the Family

Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals

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Product Details


$50.00 • £40.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674002791

Publication Date: 07/04/2000


338 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

20 halftones, 3 tables


"A very enjoyable, provocative, and scholarly sound book. Celebrating the Family is significant, thorough, and eminently readable. Pleck is especially interested in the way that celebrations have been transformed from ’carnivalesque’ qualities, involving various types of social inversion and disorder, into ’domestic’ rituals that reinforce women’s roles and child-centeredness. She treats each holiday and ritual with impressive sensitivity. She acknowledges the ’dark side,’ the social critiques of various celebrations and understands the effects holidays have had on those at the margin of the family--single people, gay people, and others not completely accepted into a family--and those who lacked resources to partake of socially constructed celebrations. Pleck’s book will have a major impact. It represents social history at its best. It is thoroughly researched, ahead of more than reflective of recent scholarship, and clearly articulated.—Howard P. Chudacoff, Brown University

Holidays and other family functions have slowly over the past few hundred years become romanticized and commercialized by popular American culture. Pleck, a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has dissected the various common rituals associated with many holidays and other family gathering events...This book is not only an eye-opening look at the characteristics of traditional rituals but also an insight into ourselves.—Julia Glynn, Booklist

An impressive work. Pleck’s argument that most American holidays, as now practiced, are Victorian inventions--reinvented and altered several times along the way to the present--seems accurate and persuasive. Modern American culture, in terms of its commercialism, various changes in child-rearing, increasing life expectancy, and work patterns, have all impinged upon holiday celebrations and profoundly altered them.—James Gilbert, University of Maryland, College Park

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

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