Beth Bailey, a social and cultural historian at Temple University, argues that the system of American courtship has changed dramatically over the past eighty years due to economic, social, and cultural forces. At different times in American history, courtship has served many functions and symbolized various things. Courtship varied according to the appropriate degree of sexual intimacy. It has been pursued at different ages, in different places, and with varying degrees of financial commitment. The book has six chapters, an introduction, and an epilogue, which focus primarily on courtship practices between and The call system involved very little if any sexual intimacy prior to marriage.
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Start your review of From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America Write a review Shelves: history , gender , women-s-studies Excellent monograph tracking the changing contours of courtship behavior from the early 20th century through the mid-Sixties, when the "sexual revolution"--Bailey explains precisely what she means by the term--fundamentally altered the nature of the beast. The primary change had to do with the movement of courtship from the private sphere of family and home to the public sphere dominated by metaphors of economic exchange.
Making it clear that her concern is with conventions--the way behavior was Excellent monograph tracking the changing contours of courtship behavior from the early 20th century through the mid-Sixties, when the "sexual revolution"--Bailey explains precisely what she means by the term--fundamentally altered the nature of the beast. Making it clear that her concern is with conventions--the way behavior was described and proscribed--rather than experience--what people actually did, Bailey organizes her chapters around themes of control, competition, consumption, the sexual economy, etiquette, gender roles and "scientific" expertise and advice.
She draws on a broad range of published sources from popular magazines and college newspapers to academic articles, building a convincing case that a remarkably consistent and coherent set of ideas recurred at every level of public discourse.
Bailey explores the development and traditions of the American dating system from to Arguing that changes in courtship practices fundamentally affected the way many Americans lived their day-to-day lives, Baileys narrative highlights the construction of different meanings of dating practices, as well as the cultural weight these changes carried during notable historical moments.
As such, Bailey uses these conflicts to show the ways that dating had to change in order to accommodate the needs, wishes, and demands of a culture undoubtedly affected by loss of men, of stability and security, of cultural and self-awareness, of opportunity, etc.
An engaging read for students of modern history or anyone interested in the historical basis for American dating, marriage, and family practices in the twentieth century.
It highlighted the idea that when dating came around men had to start paying for dates which made them an economic commodity for women, while in return women were expected to give men sexual favors.
This book emphasized the way dating changed from pre-WW1 all the way to post-WW2, and it made clear that what we have idealized the dating scene from post-WW1, but in reality the way we date now is much better for longer lasting and happier relationships. This is definitely an interesting read if research books interest you, if not then I would not recommend it. This book also goes over a lot of ancient beliefs that may seem rather sexist, so maybe stray away from this if you are not interested in reading those types of comments.
From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-century America Summary & Study Guide
From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America