Friday, May 23, 2008

Bohemian Los Angeles and Identity Construction

Daniel Hurewitz, in his book, Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics, raises an intriguing point: that even those who belong to bohemias and artistic movements have a political presence, even though they may position themselves in what Soja deemed a "thirdspace". These participants are "usually". he says, viewed more in terms of their "creative impulses and judged for their resistance to larger societal mores," but the space where they position themselves at the margins of society can "be adopted as a site for contesting power. . .[to construct] new identities, actions, and opportunities." Like Greenwich Village in New York, Edendale in Los Angeles served, from the 1910s to 1950s, as a place for identity construction for men and women like Harry Hay, Miriam Brooks Sherman, Dorothy Healey, Paul Landacre, and others whose efforts, Hurewitz argues, "altered American culture and changed precisely the perceptions people had of their own lives." rating: four out of five.

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