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An extremely interesting but ever-contradictory sociological study of sexual relationsis presented in the Kathy Peiss book Cheap Amusements The reason I say that it is ever-contradictory is that the arguments are presented for both the benefit of cheap amusements for a woman s place in society and for the reinforcement of her place In one breath Peiss says that mixed-sex fun could be a source of autonomy and pleasure as well as a cause of a woman s continuing oppression The following arguments will show that based on the events and circumstances described in Cheap Amusements the changes in the ways that leisure time is spent by women has indeed benefited them in both the workplace and at home This position requires a closer look at specific leisure activities where and with whom they are spent and the ultimate effect that these activities had on society and gender roles More significantly however is how the establishment of leisure activities for women came about rather than the simple change in availability of such activities First let s look at Peiss s position on the matter of how cheap amusements challenged gender traditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries What does Peiss have to say about women s roles at the turn of the century Peiss argues initially that young women experimented with new cultural forms in terms of sexual expressiveness and social interaction with men linking heterosocial culture to a sense of modern individuality and personal style Creating this style was an assertion of self Peiss quickly discounts these assertions by saying that without economic independence such freedoms are hollow Peiss s essay claims to focus on the role of working women in fostering change from a homosocial to a heterosocial culture but as we can see from the earlier quote there is still what seems to be a hint of male dominance in preventing the experience of true
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