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    California and the emergence of lifestyle: self-help, tourism, and Los Angeles 1880-1915

    Gonzalez-Crane, Christopher Javier (2020) California and the emergence of lifestyle: self-help, tourism, and Los Angeles 1880-1915. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This dissertation traces the emergence of ‘lifestyle’ – a self-curated life experience – in California in the period between 1880-1915. Lifestyle emerged at the end of the nineteenth century: following Michel Foucault, this dissertation argues that it constituted a powerful new means for the management and presentation of the self. This dissertation suggests that lifestyle manifested in California in its most evident forms. Each chapter unfolds through an analysis of primary texts and photography. Chapter 1 traces the emergence of lifestyle through self-help literature, consumerism and ideas about the production of the self. Chapter 2 compares narratives of experience in Yosemite Valley through three interrelated works: John Muir’s My first Summer in the Sierra (1911), J. M. Hutchings’s Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California (1868) and Therese Yelverton’s Zanita: A Tale of the Yo-Semite (1872). Chapter 3 examines the editor and writer Charles Lummis and his home ‘El Alisal’. This chapter traces the role of Lummis, his magazine ‘The Land of Sunshine’ (1895-1900), the building of his home El Alisal, and his photographic collection, in shaping and defining particular literary, economic and architectural vernaculars of late 19th century Los Angeles. Chapter 4 focuses on the rapid growth of Pasadena and the emergence of lifestyle in relation to the diaries and photographs of early tourists as well as the promotional literature of George Wharton James. The dissertation concludes that California in 1880-1915 was an exemplary site wherein lifestyle materialised and became a defining feature of the cultural landscape. Through this, the dissertation argues that the unique combination of rapid urban development, wealth and geography in Southern California gave rise to the origins of what I term deliberate culture: a model of lifestyle that is performed through a self-constructed duality of narrative and experience.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 14:57
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 14:37


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