Making Tradition: On Craft in American Consciousness

Simon J. Bronner

in Explaining Traditions

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780813134062
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813135885 | DOI:
Making Tradition: On Craft in American Consciousness

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This chapter argues that the meaning of craft in twenty-first century America has been shaped by the transition from a preindustrial to a post-industrial society. Craft has been culturally located in traditions as a naturalistic sign of social belonging and a commentary on mechanical displacement engendered by modernity. It has been related to the intellectual construction of folk art representing the non-utilitarian uses of handwork in a post-industrial society. Discussed examples of craftsmanship that become symbols of human control in mass society include basketry, chairmaking, yard art, and roadside memorials.

Keywords: craft; industrialism; basketmaking; chairmaking; yard art; bricolage; roadside memorials

Chapter.  18203 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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