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Peiss Kathy Cheap Amusements Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of -the-CenturyNew York Philadelphia PA Temple University Press 1986Kathy Peiss describes the leisure activities of young working women living in New York during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in her book Cheap Amusements The book explores the emergence of a young female working class and the conflict the women encountered with the Old World traditions Peiss also explores the commercialization of leisure and the socialization of female leisure The results of these changes brought about what Peiss calls cheap amusementsDuring the middle nineteenth century women observed Old World traditions in respect to leisure Most leisure activities for women were labor oriented and close personal relationships between women were frowned upon as deviant Peiss explains this during the first few chapters of Cheap Amusements The emergence of a young female working class caused a strain on the Old World traditions and leisure activities for women became controversial The traditional role of women was changing due to the economic pressures from industrialization As more young women began to work in the same conditions as young men women gained the right to engage in amusement as a man would Peiss discovers the commercialization of amusement to support the womans struggle for leisure freedom The businessmen in amusement saw the female working population as an untapped market for exploiting The amusement business was booming due to the industrialization of cities and the need for leisure activities for the large population of workers Amusement came in a variety of forms such as social clubs dances variety shows amusement parks cheap theatre nickel dumps and even standing on the street corner The businessmans goal was to make a profit off of these activities With the exception of standing on the street corner most leisure activities were commercialized and turned a profit In opposition to the businessman were the mothers and fathers that still lived by Old World traditions and did
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