Abstract

Challenging the validity of the influential "Susman thesis" about the rise of a consumption-based cult of personality in early twentieth-century America, this essay argues that the new emphasis on personality should be understood within the context of immigration, ethnicity and race rather than consumption. The "personality shift" derived from critical changes in American psychological thought that coincided with equally critical attempts to interpret personal and national identity in an era of mass immigration and ethnic relocation. The change in popular understandings of personality centered on the dilemma of dissociation and integration in regard to both the individual and the nation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 227-256
Launched on MUSE
2003-06-16
Open Access
No
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