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The Tramp in America

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The Tramp in America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

This book provides the first account of the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between the 1870s and the 1930s. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the tramp was imagined and described and how, by World War II, it was being reclassified and rendered invisible. He describes the "tramp scare" of the late nineteenth century and explores the assumption that tramps were invariably male and therefore a threat to women. Cresswell also examines tramps as comic figures and looks at the work of prominent American photographers which signaled a sympathetic portrayal of this often-despised group. Perhaps most significantly, The Tramp in America calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.

“This is an effective, and sometimes touching, account of how a social phenomenon was created, classified and reclassified. The quality of the writing, the excellent illustrations and the high production standards give this reasonably-priced hardback a chance of appealing to a general audience . . . an important contribution to American studies, providing new perspectives on the significance of mobility and rootlessness at an important time in the development of the nation. Cresswell successfully illuminates the history of a disadvantaged and marginal group, while providing a lens by which to focus on the thinking and practices of the mainstream culture with which they dealt. As such, this book represents a considerable achievement.”—Cultural Geographies

“An important book. Cresswell has made an important contribution to a homelessness literature still lacking a more sophisticated theoretical edge. Clearly written, beautifully illustrated and with a strong argument throughout, the book deserves to be widely read by students and practitioners alike.”—Progress in Human Geography

Synopsis:

This book provides the first account of the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between the 1870s and the 1930s. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the tramp was imagined and described and how, by the Second World War, it was being reclassified and rendered invisible. He describes the "tramp scare" of the late nineteenth century and explores the assumption that tramps were invariably male and therefore a threat to women. Cresswell also examines tramps as comic figures and looks at the work of prominent American photographers which signaled a sympathetic portrayal of this often-despised group. Perhaps most significantly, "The Tramp in America calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.

Synopsis:

The Tramp in America vividly describes the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between 1869 and 1939. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the figure of the tramp was imagined, written and spoken about, and how by the Second World War it was being reclassified, renamed, and rendered invisible. The book calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.

Cresswell describes the tramp scare of the late nineteenth century in terms of the major factors that influenced the tramp's existence: the political and economic climate, the technology of the railroad, and the after-effects of the Civil War. He goes on to explore various stereotypes associated with tramps, for example, the prevalent assumption was that tramps were male and were a threat to women in domestic environments, but accounts exist of female tramps who took to the road disguised as men. Another stereotype prevalent in medical and eugenicist writings saw tramps as untrustworthy, diseased, and unsound in their heredity, ultimately suggesting reasons for their exclusion from democratic processes. As comic figures, characters such as Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the Happy Hooligan cartoons illustrate how the tramp's body, and especially mobility, were used to invert audience expectations about what was considered normal. Cresswell also looks at the Chicago School of Sociology's attempts to analyze and explain the tramp question. Finally, he looks at the work of a number of prominent American photographers, among them Dorothea Lange, whose sympathetic portrayals signalled a change in attitude towards this often-despised group.

Tim Cresswell is a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Aberystwyth, Wales. He is the author of In Place/Out of Place: Geography, Ideology and Transgression (University of Minnesota Press, 1996).

About the Author

Tim Cresswell is a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He is the author of In Place/Out of Place: Geography, Ideology and Transgression (1996).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

1. Tramps, Knowledge and Mobility

2. The Tramp in Context

3. Knowing the Tramp

4. Gendering the Tramp

5. Pathologizing the Tramp

6. Laughter and the Tramp

7. Picturing the Tramp

Afterword: The Subject Strikes Back

References

Select Bibliography

List of Illustrations

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781861890696
Author:
Cresswell, Tim
Publisher:
Reaktion Books
Location:
London
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Minority Studies
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Unemployment
Subject:
Tramps
Subject:
Minority Studies - General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
24
Publication Date:
20040631
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Children's » Activities » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Tramp in America Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.00 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Reaktion Books - English 9781861890696 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This book provides the first account of the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between the 1870s and the 1930s. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the tramp was imagined and described and how, by the Second World War, it was being reclassified and rendered invisible. He describes the "tramp scare" of the late nineteenth century and explores the assumption that tramps were invariably male and therefore a threat to women. Cresswell also examines tramps as comic figures and looks at the work of prominent American photographers which signaled a sympathetic portrayal of this often-despised group. Perhaps most significantly, "The Tramp in America calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.
"Synopsis" by , The Tramp in America vividly describes the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between 1869 and 1939. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the figure of the tramp was imagined, written and spoken about, and how by the Second World War it was being reclassified, renamed, and rendered invisible. The book calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.

Cresswell describes the tramp scare of the late nineteenth century in terms of the major factors that influenced the tramp's existence: the political and economic climate, the technology of the railroad, and the after-effects of the Civil War. He goes on to explore various stereotypes associated with tramps, for example, the prevalent assumption was that tramps were male and were a threat to women in domestic environments, but accounts exist of female tramps who took to the road disguised as men. Another stereotype prevalent in medical and eugenicist writings saw tramps as untrustworthy, diseased, and unsound in their heredity, ultimately suggesting reasons for their exclusion from democratic processes. As comic figures, characters such as Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the Happy Hooligan cartoons illustrate how the tramp's body, and especially mobility, were used to invert audience expectations about what was considered normal. Cresswell also looks at the Chicago School of Sociology's attempts to analyze and explain the tramp question. Finally, he looks at the work of a number of prominent American photographers, among them Dorothea Lange, whose sympathetic portrayals signalled a change in attitude towards this often-despised group.

Tim Cresswell is a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Aberystwyth, Wales. He is the author of In Place/Out of Place: Geography, Ideology and Transgression (University of Minnesota Press, 1996).

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