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One Hundred Percent Americanism: Material Culture and Nationalism, Then and Now

  • Margaret C. WoodEmail author
Article
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Abstract

This article examines the ways that specific interest groups within the American nation use material culture to attempt to define the parameters of a shared national identity. Case studies are drawn from the first decades of the twentieth century (1900–30) and the early years of the 21st century (2000–12). Analysis of landscapes and artifacts excavated from the working-class industrial town of Berwind in southern Colorado show how an early twentieth-century corporation and its immigrant workers used mundane objects to debate, through symbols, the meanings of citizenship and the nation. An analysis of yellow ribbon magnets used and created by supporters of the Iraq War (2003+) in the 21st century will show how material symbols are deployed in an attempt to reinforce a specific, but contested vision of the nation and the nature of her citizenry.

Keywords

Nationalism Identity Race Landscape Yellow Ribbons War 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Many thanks as always to LouAnn Wurst for her thoughtful and constructive comments. Thanks to the Wenner Gren Foundation and Washburn University for support of my research and writing.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyWashburn UniversityTopekaUSA

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