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A troubled past: reconfiguring postwar suburban American identity in revolutionary road, 1961 and mad men, 2007-2012

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Date Issued:
2013
Summary:
This thesis takes a cultural studies approach to representations of post-war U.S. suburbia in Richard Yates’ 1961 novel Revolutionary Road, as well as in the contemporary AMC television series Mad Men. These texts explore the postwar time period, which holds a persistently prominent and idealized space in the collective cultural imagination of America, despite the fact that it was a period troubled by isolationism, containment culture, rampant consumerism, and extreme pressure to conform to social roles. This project disrupts the romantic narrative of postwar America by focusing on the latent anxiety within the suburban landscape—by interrogating the performative nature of the planned communities of the 1950s and 1960s and exposing the tensions that were borne out of the rise of domesticity and consumerism. This project explores the descent into a society obsessed with consumerism and conformity, and seeks to interrogate the culture’s false nostalgia for the time period.
Title: A troubled past: reconfiguring postwar suburban American identity in revolutionary road, 1961 and mad men, 2007-2012.
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Name(s): Kiley, Erin M, author
Ulin, Julieann V., Thesis advisor
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, Degree grantor
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 92 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This thesis takes a cultural studies approach to representations of post-war U.S. suburbia in Richard Yates’ 1961 novel Revolutionary Road, as well as in the contemporary AMC television series Mad Men. These texts explore the postwar time period, which holds a persistently prominent and idealized space in the collective cultural imagination of America, despite the fact that it was a period troubled by isolationism, containment culture, rampant consumerism, and extreme pressure to conform to social roles. This project disrupts the romantic narrative of postwar America by focusing on the latent anxiety within the suburban landscape—by interrogating the performative nature of the planned communities of the 1950s and 1960s and exposing the tensions that were borne out of the rise of domesticity and consumerism. This project explores the descent into a society obsessed with consumerism and conformity, and seeks to interrogate the culture’s false nostalgia for the time period.
Identifier: FA0004031 (IID)
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2013.
Subject(s): Families -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Mad Men (Television program) -- Criticism and interpretation
Nostalgia
Suburban life -- 20th century -- Criticism and interpretation
Suburban life -- 20th century -- Social aspects
Television programs -- Social aspects
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library
Sublocation: Boca Raton, Fla.
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA0004031
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU