We Are What We Celebrate Understanding Holidays and Rituals

ISBN-10: 081472227X

ISBN-13: 9780814722275

Edition: 2004

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View the Table of Contents.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Read the Chapter One. All of the entries are well written and should intrigue a broad range of students because they run the gamut from the very academic to the more popularly written. . . . Overall this is an enjoyable collection that does a great deal to put to rest Emile DurkheimAElig;s assumption of a close, positive correlation between the occurrence of and participation in holidays and societal integration. -Choice [P]rovides readers with a deeper insight into the ways in which holidays have been used and misused throughout American history. We learn of how Americans come together on their special days and how those days, sometimes, reveal social strains. A necessary volume for anyone who cares about how Americans reveal community and perform civic obligation. -Gary Alan Fine, author of Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept, and Controversial Fascinating in what it says about the holidays as mechanisms of socialization, prisms through which identity can be refracted, even changed. -Chicago Tribune [A] new and welcome framework for understanding the meanings of holidays in our multi-cultural society. Any simple explanation of even the most familiar celebrations will be challenged in reading this wide-ranging collection. -Penne L. Restad, author of Christmas in America: A History [O]ffers an effervescent mix of sociological and historical reflections on the state of holidays and rituals in American culture. -Leigh E. Schmidt, author of Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays How did Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday become a national holiday? Why do we exchange presents on Christmas and Chanukah? What do bunnies have to do with Easter? How did Earth Day become a global holiday? These questions and more are answered in this fascinating exploration into the history and meaning of holidays and rituals. Edited by Amitai Etzioni, one of the most influential social and political thinkers of our time, this collection provides a compelling overview of the impact that holidays and rituals have on our family and communal life. From community solidarity to ethnic relations to religious traditions, We Are What We Celebrate argues that holidays such as Halloween, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, and Valentine's Day play an important role in reinforcing, and sometimes redefining, our values as a society. The collection brings together classic and original essays that, for the first time, offer a comprehensive overview and analysis of the important role such celebrations play in maintaining a moral order as well as in cementing family bonds, building community relations and creating national identity. The essays cover such topics as the creation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday; the importance of holidays for children; the mainstreaming of Kwanzaa; and the controversy over Columbus Day celebrations. Compelling and often surprising, this look at holidays and rituals brings new meaning to not just the ways we celebrate but to what those celebrations tell us about ourselves and our communities. Contributors: Theodore Caplow, Gary Cross, Matthew Dennis, Amitai Etzioni, John R. Gillis, Ellen M. Litwicki, Diana Muir, Francesca Polletta, Elizabeth H. Pleck, David E. Proctor, Mary F. Whiteside, and Anna Day Wilde.
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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 12/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 253
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

James M. White is a Professor in the School of Social Work and Family Studies at the University of British Columbia and resides with his wife and three daughters in Vancouver, Canada. His research interests include family development as well as marital interaction and communication. He is the author of Dynamics of Family Development (published in the U.S. in 1991 and translated into Japanese in 1994), as well as numerous articles that have appeared in the Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, Journal of Marriage and Family , and elsewhere. His authored and co-authored book chapters include a chapter with R. H. Rodgers on family development in the Sourcebook of Family Theories & Methods (1993). He has served as referee for numerous journals in family relations and public health and is an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Public Health, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, and The International Encyclopedia of Family Relationships . He is a past-president of the Northwest Council on Family Relations, whose membership includes academics, practitioners, and therapists from the states and provinces of the Pacific Northwest.nbsp; He is also an Honorary Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations.nbsp;nbsp;

Jared Bloom is Research Assistant at the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, George Washington University.

Holidays and rituals : neglected seedbeds of virtue
Who are we and where do we come from? : rituals, families, and identities
Just for kids : how holidays became child centered
This is our family : stepfamilies, rituals, and kinship connections
Gathering together : remembering memory through ritual
The festival cycle : Halloween to Easter in the community of Middletown
Mainstreaming Kwanzaa
Victorian days : performing community through local festival
Can you celebrate dissent? : holidays and social protest
The invention of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday
Proclaiming Thanksgiving throughout the land : from local to national holiday
"Our hearts burn with ardent love for two countries" : ethnicity and assimilation
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