A Rage For Order Disneyland And The Suburbanizing Ideal By Eric Avila

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discussion on Eric Avila reading, “A Rage for Order: Disneyland and the Suburbanizing Ideal.”

Answer just one of the three questions below in a paragraph or more, and then include the REFLECTION (another paragraph or more) described below them.

  1. According to Eric Avila, who were the three different types of people (i.e. What was their ethnicity, gender, social class, or sexual identity?) that liked to hang out at the Coney Island amusement park and made it a space of social freedom in the early 20th Century modern city of New York. What was the response of conservative, upper-class white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males and their families? What seems so peculiar about these social conditions in the early 1900s compared to today’s social climate? In addition to the reading, keep in mind that the social climate Avila refers to at the turn of the 20th century (1800s-1900s) was influenced by what was called “The Victorian Age.”
  2. According to Eric Avila, what were the two forms of “modern technology,” both of which were still relatively “new” at the time (i.e. circa 1950s), that Walt Disney had in mind in the planning and development of his new, mid-20th Century amusement park, called Disneyland? Explain the significance of these two technologies in relation to the park’s attractions (i.e. their connection to Disney movies and cartoons, hint, hint!) and its unique location in Anaheim, California (i.e. consider the distance from L.A.).
  3. Describe and analyze at least two examples of Disneyland attractions from either the past or present that seem to perpetuate stereotypes of people from a different or marginalized ethnic group in the U.S. or from abroad. You may use your own personal experiences to make your point if you’ve been to the amusement park. You may also use Eric Avila’s examples as long as you explain them in your own words. REFLECTION: For some, Prof. Avila’s critique of the history of Disneyland may seem “controversial” or even just “quaint.” But his work actually constitutes an example of a comparative race & ethnicity approach to understanding the power dynamic between the cultural “whiteness” that Walt Disney created in American popular culture, and the peoples that he “imagined” as a part of his vision of America, its history, and the world. If this is the first time you’ve ever applied critical thinking to Disney and American popular culture, what are your thoughts about some of the historical information or arguments that Avila presents? If you already have a critical perspective on Disney or Disneyland, go ahead and unload your critique, but please be tactful by making connections to the reading material.

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