Domestic Pleasures: Dreams of Hope and Fulfillment in American Home Life
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CitationThompson, Phyllis Elizabeth Pratt. 2014. Domestic Pleasures: Dreams of Hope and Fulfillment in American Home Life. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThis dissertation explores American domestic pleasures and duties during the two Gilded Ages that bracket the twentieth century. It draws upon the theoretical work of scholars from several disciplines and analyzes prescriptive and literary sources to create an intellectual history of the idea of pleasure as it appears in home life as well as its consequences. This project reframes domestic pleasures as both "true" insomuch as individuals experience them viscerally, and primarily constructed, in that hegemonic cultural discourses shape experiences of them. I argue that pleasure regulates and restricts individuals both by simultaneously shaping aspirations and manifesting in habits and activities. Since enjoyment of scripted behaviors serves to naturalize them, many seemingly private choices escape interrogation. Ultimately, domestic pleasure establishes a regulative norm that continually reshapes the meanings of homes, families, and even the individual.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12274518
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