Crossing Class and Racial Boundaries: Vacationing in the Early Twentieth Century

Cindy S. Aron

in Working at Play

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195142341
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849024 | DOI:
Crossing Class and Racial Boundaries: Vacationing in the Early Twentieth Century

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By the 1920s, a variety of people in the United States were becoming vacationers. Many who once could manage only a one-day excursion to an amusement park, beach, or lake were participating in an experience that a few decades earlier had been restricted primarily to the white middle class. During the first three decades of the 20th century, middle-class African Americans and both native-born and immigrant members of the working class joined the growing numbers of white middle-class vacationers. Some chose places like Atlantic City, others opted for very different sorts of ventures. This chapter examines the experiences that the crowds of American vacationers created for themselves during the early decades of the 20th century. Did vacationing serve as a unifying force in early 20th-century America, or did it reinforce distinctions of class and race? This chapter also evaluates the impact of a broadened vacationing public on cultural attitudes towards vacations.

Keywords: United States; vacations; class; race; 20th century; vacationers; African Americans; vacationing; cultural attitudes

Chapter.  12784 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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