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Date Permissions Signed

5-21-2012

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Leonard, Kevin Allen, 1964-

Second Advisor

Kennedy, Kathleen, 1963-

Third Advisor

Neem, Johann N.

Abstract

At the height of the Cold War, films and books that focused on anticommunist themes used depictions of communism as a way to promote a certain understanding of the roles of men and women in the post-war United States. The end of World War Two caused a reconfiguration of American society, providing a context in which cultural productions, such as these anticommunist Cold War narratives, could provide competing interpretations for what this transformation of society meant for men and women's roles in the United States. These films and books collectively construct an ideology that idolized the family as the most important unit of American life. At the same time, they condemned men who focused on work life instead of the family, in particular expressing the view that modern society turns men in conformists and effeminizes them. In the case of women, these narratives praised strong women who were wives, but stigmatized unmarried women who showed independence. This response to the changes in post-war America was one of a range of responses, but an important one. By exploring the relationship between anticommunism and a critique of gender, we better understand the nature of the Cold War, and how it was focused not only on political battles but also cultural ones concerning gender roles.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

794458328

Digital Format

application/pdf

Geographic Coverage

United States

Genre/Form

Academic theses

Language

English

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

History Commons

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