American culture in the 1970s by Will Kaufman

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By Will Kaufman

The Seventies was once some of the most culturally vivid classes in American historical past. This booklet discusses the dominant cultural different types of the Nineteen Seventies - fiction and poetry; tv and drama; movie and visible tradition; well known track and elegance; public area and spectacle - and the decade's such a lot influential practitioners and texts: from Toni Morrison to All within the kin, from Diane Arbus to Bruce Springsteen, from M.A.S.H. to Taxi motive force and from disco divas to Vietnam protesters. in accordance with those that contemplate the seventies the time of disco, polyester and narcissism, this booklet rewrites the severe engagement with one in all America's such a lot misunderstood a long time

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322) As Said makes clear, mythologising is a fundamental aim of Orientalist discourse; but the impact of Orientalism is far from mythological: the ‘Orient’ – whatever that may be – ‘is now less a myth perhaps than a place criss-crossed by Western, especially American, interests’. (26) As the Iranian revolution of 1979 was to prove, these interests would be increasingly and vigorously challenged. Said’s Orientalism is rightly credited with inaugurating postcolonial criticism. But, in its exposition of negotiations between knowledge, description and power, it also illuminates the workings of oppositional processes that were taking place in the United States well before its publication.

But even more important are the visual and aural elements – fashion, hair styles, technological props (for example the Pong video game), period slang and diction. As Sherrie Inness argues, the show relies on the sort of ‘1970s iconography’ that informs larger trends in cultural nostalgia for the decade of the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever, ‘lava lamps, suede rugs, and beanbag chairs . . 22 Moving beyond the realms of parody, caricature or nostalgia, however, it is more useful to approach the 1970s – as Shelton Waldrep does – as ‘a period [that] exists in several parallel dimensions.

While the continued failure of three-quarters of the states to ratify the amendment has remained a source of immense 18 American Culture in the 1970s frustration to the women’s movement, 1972 marked a watershed in that the amendment was finally adopted by the Senate and recommended to the separate states; it had taken forty-nine years even to reach the Senate floor. The following year, the Supreme Court’s highly controversial decision to legalise a woman’s right to abortion – Roe v. 44 Again, this continuously challenged Supreme Court provision indicates a feminist advance across a highly contested battlefield, the end of which is not yet in sight.

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