Abstract

This essay considers three films made in the 1950s that used ethnographic images to educate audiences about contemporary American cultural life. The use of images in these films conveyed the idea that American culture was uniquely suited to change. Americans’ apparent facility with the image suggested that American culture was at once under ascendance and in question. The films borrow images and practices from the ethnographic field to reveal one pathway for a process of visual enculturation that was characteristic of the postwar United States in which modernity and visual culture coexisted and encouraged mediated self-observation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3905
Print ISSN
0892-2160
Pages
pp. 46-75
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-04
Open Access
No
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