From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-century America - Chapter 5, The Etiquette of Masculinity and Femininity Summary & Analysis

Beth L. Bailey
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Chapter 5, The Etiquette of Masculinity and Femininity Summary and Analysis

Masculinity and femininity developed an etiquette that Bailey wants to analyze because etiquette reflects gender identity. The paradox of etiquette is that by conforming to certain rules one can develop a stronger sense of gender identity. Gender identity became threatened as people began to realize that gender roles were, at least partly, constructed and fluctuated between generations. A breakdown of barriers between men and women threatened identity.

Mid-twentieth century masculinity and femininity were defined in opposition to one another and are the 'traditional' sex roles of today. This traditional etiquette dominated American manners from the 1930s to the 1960s. These identities had to be acquired and demonstrated and etiquette became a complex code that governed courtship rituals. The twentieth century brought to a head the increasing awareness that gender...

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This section contains 595 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-century America Study Guide
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