Catalogue


Transformation of the Mormon culture region /
Ethan R. Yorgason.
imprint
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2003.
description
xii, 261 p.
ISBN
0252028538 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2003.
isbn
0252028538 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction : a narrowed regional conversation -- The region as the unit of analysis -- Moderating feminist imaginations -- Privatizing Mormon communitarianism -- Re-presenting America -- A new type of home -- Afterword : Mormons and the contemporary Mormon culture region.
catalogue key
5023908
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-06-01:
Yorgason (Brigham Young Univ. Hawai'i) employs concepts from modern cultural geography as his theoretical underpinning in this minutely detailed volume, defined in the brief introduction as a "narrowed regional conversation." Five thematic chapters are based on wide-ranging research in Mormon Church records and periodicals, personal materials, and government documents. Successive chapters treat regions as units of analysis (defining them in cultural rather than political-geographical terms); the moderation of a feminist strand in Mormon thought; a shift from communitarian values to economic individualism; the integration of US patriotism and nationalism into Mormon thought; and the consequences of a revised Mormonism that retained its core theology while losing its emphases in attitudes about family life and gender roles, private property, and the relation of the individual to the nation, which--had they survived--would have yielded a fruitful challenge to and conversation about central national institutions and values. While comprehensive, the bibliography omits some important sources, which may, however, fall outside of the era treated, 1890-1920), including those by Nels Anderson (1942), Wallace Stegner (1942, 1964), Ray B. West (1975), and, most importantly, John Brooks (1994). More satisfactory as exposition than explanation, incomplete in omitting political culture and theology, this well-written book will nevertheless become a standard reference. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. Steeples formerly, Mercer University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Offers a fresh, nuanced interpretation of how yesterday's polygamous, communal, even anti-American Mormon radicals became modern-day social and political conservatives in the American West."-- Professional Geographer "Chief among [this book's] contributions are . . . a number of stimulating and novel insights about the causes and implications of the regional struggle between Mormons and non-Mormons during the period."-- Journal of Mormon History
"Offers a fresh, nuanced interpretation of how yesterday's polygamous, communal, even anti-American Mormon radicals became modern-day social and political conservatives in the American West."--Professional Geographer "Chief among [this book's] contributions are . . . a number of stimulating and novel insights about the causes and implications of the regional struggle between Mormons and non-Mormons during the period."--Journal of Mormon History
"The scholarly quality of Yorgason's book is very high. Withcarefully structured arguments and compelling conclusions, this book makes an important contribution to the study of American regional difference, as well as to the study of Mormonism and 'Mormon culture.'" --John A. Agnew, author of American Space/American Place: Geographies of the Contemporary United States
"This well-written book will . . . become a standard reference."-- Choice
"This well-written book will . . . become a standard reference."--Choice
"Yorgason's challenging insights add an important dimension to the discussion of this time of transition, and they may well have a significant impact on how future scholars deal with it."-- American Historical Review
"Yorgason's challenging insights add an important dimension to the discussion of this time of transition, and they may well have a significant impact on how future scholars deal with it."--American Historical Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In this unique study, Ethan R. Yorgason examines the Mormon "culture region" of the American West, which in the late nineteenth century was characterized by sexual immorality, communalism, and anti-Americanism but is now marked by social conservatism. Foregrounding the concept of region, Yorgason traces the conformist-conservative trajectory that arose from intense moral and ideological clashes between Mormons and non-Mormons from 1880 to 1920. Looking through the lenses of regional geography, history, and cultural studies, Yorgason investigates shifting moral orders relating to gender authority, economic responsibility, and national loyalty, community, and home life. Transformation of the Mormon Culture Region charts how Mormons and non-Mormons resolved their cultural contradictions over time by a progressive narrowing of the range of moral positions on gender (in favor of Victorian gender relations), the economy (in favor of individual economics), and the nation (identifying with national power and might). Mormons and non-Mormons together constructed a regime of effective coexistence while retaining regional distinctiveness.
Main Description
In this unique study, Ethan R. Yorgason examines the Mormon "culture region" of the American West, which in the late nineteenth century was characterized by sexual immorality, communalism, and anti-Americanism but is now marked by social conservatism. Foregrounding the concept of region, Yorgason traces the conformist-conservative trajectory that arose from intense moral and ideological clashes between Mormons and non-Mormons from 1880 to 1920. Looking through the lenses of regional geography, history, and cultural studies, Yorgason investigates shifting moral orders relating to gender authority, economic responsibility, and national loyalty, community, and home life. Transformation of the Mormon Culture Regioncharts how Mormons and non-Mormons resolved their cultural contradictions over time by a progressive narrowing of the range of moral positions on gender (in favor of Victorian gender relations), the economy (in favor of individual economics), and the nation (identifying with national power and might). Mormons and non-Mormons together constructed a regime of effective coexistence while retaining regional distinctiveness.
Unpaid Annotation
In the late nineteenth century the Mormon "culture region" of the American West was considered radical, identified by non-Mormons with sexual immorality, communalism, and anti-Americanism. Today, social conservatism marks the region. How did this shift occur? In this unique study, Ethan R. Yorgason foregrounds the concept of region and traces the conformist-conservative trajectory that arose from intense moral and ideological clashes between Mormons and non-Mormons from 1880 to 1920. Non-Mormons worried that Mormons would establish an un-American society in the West, while Mormons feared for the very existence of their church. An example of the new regional geography, Yorgason's work treats culture as an arena of political struggle. Looking through the lenses of regional geography, history, and cultural studies, Yorgason investigates shifting moral orders relating to gender authority, economic responsibility, and national loyalty. He particularly focuses on Mormon feminism, communitarianism, nationalism, and home life. Transformation of the Mormon Culture Region charts the cultural contradictions of both Mormons and non-Mormons and how they were resolved over time by a narrowing of the range of moral positions on gender (in favor of Victorian gender relations), the economy (in favor of individual economics), and the nation (identifying with national power and might). Mormons and non-Mormons together constructed an effective coexistence while retaining regional distinctiveness.
Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Narrowed Regional Conversationp. 1
The Region as the Unit of Analysisp. 13
Moderating Feminist Imaginationsp. 31
Privatizing Mormon Communitarianismp. 78
Re-presenting Americap. 130
A New Type of Homep. 171
Afterword: Mormons and the Contemporary Mormon Culture regionp. 187
Notesp. 193
Works Citedp. 217
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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