Chapter

The Culture of Flight

in Restless Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780226394787
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226394732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226394732.003.0008
The Culture of Flight

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Of all the places one might look in American history for an alternative to rampant individualism, suspicion of authority, and boomtown restlessness, two logical candidates are religion and the arts. Culture, after all, should bind Americans together as a community or a people, remind them of their shared traditions and meanings. And religion might seem as though it were about the obligations of one member of the community to the rest, about submission to legitimate authority. American religious and artistic traditions have indeed been critical of the world they saw around them. The jeremiad has always been a popular form of sermon, denouncing the sins and corruptions of materialism, the lawless violence of boomtowns, the flight from family responsibilities.

Keywords: religion; arts; restlessness; materialism; boomtowns; family responsibilities

Chapter.  15292 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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