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1 - By "family" I mean the modern family, "an intact nuclear household unit composed of a male breadwinner, his full-time homemaker wife, and their dependent children" (Stacey 1990:5). Though this form of family is no longer prevalent in the United States, my research indicates that it remains a cultural ideal in Antelope Valley. (Back to text)

2 - Such criticism is to be found both in post-colonial (e.g. Said 1979, 1989) and feminist (e.g. Mascia-Less et al. 1989) scholarship and among anthropologists reluctant to abandon the discipline's empirico-positivist foundations. (Back to text)

3 - Drawing as it does on feminist, Marxist and post-colonialist scholarship. (Back to text)

4 - I draw here on philosopher Owen Barfield's discussion of the almost lost distinction between the word "hypothesis" and the word "theory". A theory is "a proposition which it is hoped may turn out to be true", a hypothesis "a proposition the truth or untruth of which is irrelevant". Barfield writes: "The geometrical paths and movements devised for the planets were, in the minds of those who invented them, hypotheses in the latter sense. They were arrangements--devices--for saving the appearances; and the Greek and medieval astronomers were not at all disturbed by the fact that the same appearances could be saved by two or more quite different hypotheses. . .All that mattered was, which was the simplest and most convenient for practical purposes; for neither of them had any essential part in truth or knowledge" (Barfield 1965:49, emphasis added). See also Henri Lefebvre's discussion of the role of "strategic hypotheses in the construction of knowledge" (1991:60). (Back to text)

5 - In Modern Social Theory (1992), Ian Craib discusses the "normative dimension" of all social theory. He writes: "any theory of the way the world is must make implicit or explicit assumptions about the way the world ought to be" (1992: 19). Postmodernism, as a theory about the rifts, fallacies and repressions of the Enlightenment project, is a theory about they way the world is (at least, some part of it). Thus, if one agrees with Craib, it too must call upon some sense of how the world ought to be--upon notions of "the good", that is, upon ideals. (Back to text)

6 - For example, see Nancy Fraser's Unruly Practices (1989). In a chapter entitled "Michel Foucault: A Young Conservative?", she discusses Habermas' charge that Foucault's critique of modernity is "both theoretically paradoxical and politically suspect" (Fraser 1989:35). Fraser evaluates Habermas' charge, skillfully showing how Foucault's rejection of humanism leaves him unable to answer the question of why we should oppose the fully panopticized, autonomous society he describes in such nightmare terms. Given postmodernism's epistemological skepticism, what could be the basis of our opposition? (Back to text)

7 - This is Nicholas Garnham and Raymond William's term (1986:119). (Back to text)

8 - He characterizes "social psychology and interactionism or ethnomethodology" as particularly prone to seeing the truth of an interaction as entirely contained in the interaction (Bourdieu 1977:81). (Back to text)

9 - However, as I will argue below in my criticism of Bourdieu, the "self-evidence" of his findings is precisely the problem. He has brilliantly situated the elite view of popular taste, but has failed to appreciate that this taste has a life and logic outside the dominant high aesthetic. (Back to text)

10 - I am thinking here, particularly, of Adorno's "On Popular Music" which, though it concedes that, under the right circumstances, the products of the culture industry might be put to subversive use, maintains an elitist perspective which sees these products as thoroughly mystifying. (Back to text)

11 - For example: "Everything takes place as if the 'popular aesthetic' were based on the affirmation of continuity between art and life. . .on a refusal of the refusal which is the starting point of the high aesthetic" (1984: 32); or "It must never be forgotten that the working-class 'aesthetic' is a dominated 'aesthetic' which is constantly obliged to define itself in terms of the dominant aesthetic (1984: 41). (Back to text)

12 - . . .one need not have been Caesar in order to understand Caesar" (Weber 1978: 5). (Back to text)

13 - For example, Allan Sekula's "Dismantling Modernism" (1984). (Back to text)

14 - I base this assertion on the "anatomy of the classes" and their descriptions presented in Paul Fussell's "guide through the American status system" (1983: 24-50). (Back to text)

15 - Across the United States, homeowners' associations also legislate the uniformity of certain neighborhoods. Though such associations exist in Antelope Valley, they are found predominantly in up-scale developments called "gated communities". Since homeowners' associations require residents to pay rather substantial fees toward security and the upkeep of various amenities: pools, parks, etc., they are rare in the mid-priced tracts on which my research focused. For a discussion of homeowners' associations and their role as "shadow governments", see Garreau 1991, 183-208. (Back to text)

16 - Not only is this rationale apparent in the interview excerpted below, it is also found in Herbert Gan's data. Gans recounts that the Levitts decision to modify their previous designs and site plans and "build all the different houses. . . right next to each other within the same section" was influenced by criticism from city planners such as Lewis Mumford. Gans reports one Levitt official as having said: "One of the major reasons for the neighborhood plan was to answer the critics of Levittown who say that it is one huge mass of homogeneous mass-produced housing, all preplanned to standardization and mass production". (Gans 1967:9) (Back to text)

17 - The principle of maximal profit being one of the only universally agreed upon, and legitimate, values in societies organized around the capitalist mode of production. (Back to text)

18 - As Raymond Williams has pointed out: "the ladder is a perfect symbol of the bourgeois idea of society, because, while undoubtedly it offers the opportunity to climb, it is a device which can only be used individually: you go up the ladder alone" (1958: 331). (Back to text)

19 - When occupation is "no longer an end in itself", are we not speaking of alienation? Though Bellah et al. do not pursue their critique beyond the cultural level to examine social relations of production, others have presented similar arguments in Marxist terms. I will discuss one such argument made by Richard Walker (1981) in the final portion of this analysis of the discourse of supply. (Back to text)

20 - Though I will later discuss the nostalgic and return-to-nature aspects of the theme expressed in "country-style" decor, such decor also plays on a dominant American myth about the Frontier, which I do not have space to address here. See Neil Smith (1992) for a discussion of this theme and its influence in American urban development. (Back to text)

21 - As other historico-geopgraphical mythologies have been successful in other regions of this country, see The Written Suburb (Dorst 1989), for example. (Back to text)

22 - Granted, this term is cumbersome. I would say "ideological history", but I would not mean it in Althusser's, but in Geertz's sense, as a system of ideas. (Back to text)

23 - By "minimal" I do not mean to dismiss the importance of individual freedoms, but merely to note that they reflect a "minimalist" vision of the social polity. (Back to text)

24 - Marx and Engels draw our attention to the social character of production, to the fact that a mode of production always implies a mode of life, when they write in The German Ideology: "This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the reproduction of physical existence of individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part" (Marx and Engels 1965: 32). (Back to text)

25 - I am drawing here on Ann Swidler's alternative to the "culture as values' paradigm formulated by Weber and fortified by Talcott Parsons. Swidler proposes "an image of culture as a 'tool kit' of symbols, stories, rituals, and world-views, which people may use in varying configurations to solve different kinds of problems"(1986:273). For a greater elaboration of this alternative view of culture than is possible here, see Swidler's "Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies" (1986). (Back to text)

26 - The ideal of family and practical pursuit of this ideal lay at the core of her marital difficulties, as Maggie tells it: "I was getting frustrated because I saw my family breaking apart due to a work obsessed husband, and I was feeling like a failure because I couldn't put it all together, and it blew up in my face and he left". (Back to text)

27 - I agree with Bloch's argument and find in his criticism of "functionalist, intellectualist and symbolist" approaches to ritual a certain consonance with my own argument here. Bloch criticizes functionalists for ignoring "the content of ritual" and "most of what can be observed" (1986:8-9). He criticizes intellectualists and symbolists (grouped together) for treating ritual "as though it were a theological treatise" (1986:9). I see both of these errors as related to an intellectual elitism that seeks to reduce concrete, lived phenomena one or another function. (Bloch 3-11, 175-87) (Back to text)

28 - Bourdieu always puts this word in quotation marks when using it in reference to the working classes. (Back to text)

29 - Where there is no consensus about desired ends, the task of theory as practice would be to facilitate and participate in making the implicit ends of various self-understandings and practices explicit. This sort of explication can aid us in evaluating our ideas and social practices, an important step in any consensus-building process. (Back to text)

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