Chapter

“No late hours, no headache in the morning …”: Self-Improvement Vacations

Cindy S. Aron

in Working at Play

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195142341
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849024 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195142341.003.0005
“No late hours, no headache in the morning …”: Self-Improvement Vacations

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In the years after 1850, religious camp meetings continued to do what they had been doing since the turn of the 19th century—attract those in search of spiritual regeneration. During these decades, however, camp meetings came to serve other purposes as well. They provided a vacation-like environment for people who might have felt constrained, either by financial limitations or religious principles, from visiting a summer resort. Vacationers at self-improvement resorts could, even while at leisure, reaffirm their commitment to the important middle-class values of sobriety and discipline. Many of these sites provided middle-class men and women an opportunity to combine work with play and thus to use their vacations productively. Those who vacationed at self-improvement resorts were not merely idle and, as a result, vacationing became a little less risky.

Keywords: vacationers; self-improvement; middle class; resorts; sobriety; discipline; leisure; vacations; religious camp meetings; 19th century

Chapter.  11043 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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