Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fordism & modernist forms: The transformation of work and style
by Casto, William J., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2014, 176; 3636400
Abstract (Summary)

Fordism and Modernist Forms argues that Fordism is an American manifestation of a global tendency towards concentration and rationalization that we know as "monopoly capitalism." Fordism, as part of the historical transition from competitive to monopoly capitalism, reshapes and reorganizes the structures of modern life - accentuating repetitive habits and efficient behavior, replacing craftsmanship with deskilled labor, and integrating consumer culture into identity formation. These socio-economic transformations obfuscate the actually existing structures that produce their uneven societies and the monotonies of modern, everyday "life" and, therefore, create an artistic crisis of representation as the individual increasingly relies on the prisms of ideology and reification to organize and narrate her own experience of empirical reality. "Modernism" is the name given to the aesthetic schools that attempt to represent, beyond mere empiricism, this chameleon modernity; and for American Modernism that means representing a specifically Fordist modernity.

Fordism and Modernist Forms examines the formal experiments that Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald employ in their literatures and there discovers symptoms of dramatically changing historical conditions. Subjectivity was threatened by the totalizing influences of monopoly capital and modernists responded by reprioritizing the individual and negating the primacy of the whole, mostly through formal adaptation. Stein, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald, while not always explicitly political or historical authors, record the symptoms of Fordism in their prose's syntax and offer alternatives to its hegemonic status in their larger works.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Benjamin, Bret, Stasi, Paul
Commitee: Keenaghan, Eric
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: English
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American literature
Keywords: Fitzgerald, F. Scott, Fordism, Hemingway, Ernest, Modernism, Stein, Gertrude
Publication Number: 3636400
ISBN: 978-1-321-18024-4
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