Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Performing place, performing the past: Regional identity, Mexican labor, and antimodernism at Fred and Florence Bixby's Rancho Los Alamitos
by Hernandez, Holly N. G., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 105; 10261016
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the premodern and ethnically stratified labor and social structure maintained at Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach, California during the early-to-mid twentieth century as an expression and performance of an idealized regional identity with roots in a romanticized sense of past and place. Amid dramatic urbanization, industrialization, and corporatization, the rancho’s owners, Fred and Florence Bixby, made significant efforts to maintain past views, technology, and paternalistic social relations with their Mexican employee tenants. To be sure, the desire to preserve an idealized western lifestyle as well as a particular class position motivated such efforts. Moreover, while this daily performance of an idealized regionalism signified a rejection of the modern progress hailed by most elite white southern Californians, it nevertheless constituted a conscious exercise in defining modernity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schrank, Sarah
Commitee: Mizelle, Brett, Ponce de Leon, Charles
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: American history, Labor relations
Keywords: Antimodernism, Bixby, Florence, Bixby, Fred, California, Long Beach, Rancho Los Alamitos, Regionalism
Publication Number: 10261016
ISBN: 9781369668544
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