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Explaining TraditionsFolk Behavior in Modern Culture$
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Simon J. Bronner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134062

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134062.001.0001

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Making Tradition: On Craft in American Consciousness

Making Tradition: On Craft in American Consciousness

(p.138) 4 Making Tradition: On Craft in American Consciousness
Explaining Traditions

Simon J. Bronner

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter argues that the meaning of craft in twenty-first century America has been shaped by the transition from a preindustrial to a post-industrial society. Craft has been culturally located in traditions as a naturalistic sign of social belonging and a commentary on mechanical displacement engendered by modernity. It has been related to the intellectual construction of folk art representing the non-utilitarian uses of handwork in a post-industrial society. Discussed examples of craftsmanship that become symbols of human control in mass society include basketry, chairmaking, yard art, and roadside memorials.

Keywords:   craft, industrialism, basketmaking, chairmaking, yard art, bricolage, roadside memorials

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