By Susan Currell

Within the decade following the top of worldwide warfare I, the USA rose to its present seat because the top global superpower matched through an rising cultural dominance that may come to symbolize the second one half the 20 th century. American tradition within the Twenties is an interesting account of the main cultural and highbrow traits that have been pivotal to the decade's characterization as "the jazz age." heading off superficial representations of the period because the "roaring twenties" suffering from a "lost generation," the quantity presents a whole portrait that incorporates chapters on literature, song and function, movie and radio, visible paintings and layout, and the exceptional upward push of rest and intake.

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Relativism and pluralism appeared to divest American culture of a moral framework on which social stability could be formed. Despite this, aspects of religious thinking were infused by new ideas. University of Chicago professor of divinity Shailer Matthews developed theories of a theological ‘scientific modernism’ using the sociohistorical methods of the Chicago school; his The Faith of Modernism (1924) argued that ‘[Theological] Modernists endeavor to reach beliefs and their application in the same way that chemists or historians reach 16 American Culture in the 1920s and apply their conclusions .

38 The Culture of Science Dewey’s ideal of a democracy of well-informed and educated citizens was counteracted by the concern that corporations and private business entrepreneurs now exercised a new domination over intellectual life, as the relationship between academia, intellectuals and big business actually merged more than ever. The huge growth and popularisation of social science research was assisted by increased research funding by American millionaire philanthropists. Carnegie and Rockefeller had begun their foundations in the progressive era, but huge numbers of research-based studies were sponsored by a variety of philanthropic endeavours, among them the Brookings Institution and the Pollak Foundation for Economic Research.

Stearns used the example of the popular cartoon strip ‘Bringing up Father’ as an example of women’s relationship to modern cultural life. In the strip a nouveau riche wife aspired to a bourgeois lifestyle while her husband remained stuck to his gauche working-class habits. ‘Bringing up’ father meant forcing him to adopt materialistic and superficial habits that had rapidly become associated with middle-brow, anti-intellectual, feminine bourgeoisification. Using ‘rolling-pin’ humour, the strip highlighted the new power of women in a world of showy artificiality and consumption – inevitably ‘mother’ was twice the size of ‘father’, although her reform project continuously fails.

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