The central topic in Cheap Amusements written by Kathy Peiss is work and leisure possibilities that were available to women in the 19th century New York, leading to a new start in American culture. The culture was driven by women at the time. This movement was directed at independence, protection, regard, romance, significance, sexual experimentation. Tensions between the classes caused opposition to the leisure time of the working class, and due to this push, a new culture appeared and the entire face of American society was forever changed.
This book focuses on the movement of women of a working class and the impact of the movement on class, family life, and ethnic groups that were basing a new American culture, where everybody could would experience a generality in leisure. Working class women used the chase of leisure to jolt for freedom and independence, impacting the modern times and getting rid of ties that kept hold to old traditions. Working class women moved away from home life and demanded equal entertainment possibilities as men. The working class could only afford the cheapest amusements, influencing the rest of society in which the upper classes would push for reform with little or no avail.
Indecent girls appeared due to more employment opportunities. The lack of household duties made the girls concentrate on pleasures that were sought through leisure. Dance halls promised fun, excitement, and glamour.
Amusement parks adopted cultural forms of sexuality and eventually were trying to appeal to everyone.
Movie and vaudeville theaters appealed to the masses. Movies noted divisions in culture and class and would line up against morals and values of the middle class. The humor in movies showed the idea of modern womanhood, based on the issues of feminism and patriarchal order. The upper class was tryring to jolt for censorship of sexuality in theaters and movies.
Leisure activities of the middle class in the 1920s switched from Victorian traditions and jolted for greater social freedom, free sexuality, and mixed-sex activities. Working class women pushed to be free, to do whatever they wanted and wished. However, the upper class looked to contain these supposedly out of control women. This period resulted in an attempt to find a median, and determine what the proper fun and leisure activities can be. This ultimately led to changes of social life among all the classes. Also it led to freer sexuality, greater independence for women, and the proclamation of amusement to the masses.
The central topic in Cheap Amusements written by Kathy Peiss is work and leisure possibilities that were available to women in the 19th century New York, leading to a new start in American culture. The culture was driven by women at the time. This movement was directed at independence, protection, regard, romance, significance, sexual experimentation.