By Kevin L. Ferguson
Through an exam of Nineteen Eighties the USA cultural texts and media, Kevin L. Ferguson examines how new varieties of members have been created so as to deal with in a different way hidden cultural anxieties through the American Eighties. Exploring a number of concepts for fashioning self-knowledge within the decade, this booklet illuminates the hidden lives of surrogate moms, crack infants, people with AIDS, yuppies, and brat packers. those doubtless uncomplicated stereotypes actually hid deeper cultural adjustments in concerns on the subject of race, classification, and gender. via a number texts, Eighties humans exhibits how the average examining of the Nineteen Eighties as a superficial interval of little value disguises the decade's actual significant: a fight for self-definition outdoor of the constrained set of concepts given by way of postmodern theorizing.
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Extra resources for Eighties People: New Lives in the American Imagination
98 Possessing the Wisdom of Solomon, Mr. Stern is able to “subordinate his 30 EIGHTIES PEOPLE wishes for his daughter and give up visitation,”99 while Mrs. Whitehead is “self-important” for refusing to give up her claim to her child. In order to rightfully claim it, Stern must ﬁrst demonstrate that he is able to give up the child, while Whitehead’s mistake lies in making a direct claim for the child itself, and thus appearing selﬁsh. The problem with the courts’ framing of this as a dispute between Mr.
In this, the dilemma over the new reproductive techniques connects with a more general concern over the nature of authority, certainty, and legitimation in the postmodern eighties. Jean-François Lyotard’s formulation of postmodernism saw it as a “crisis of legitimacy,” like the legitimacy of certain cultures over others, of certain forms of knowledge, or of different strategies of representation. ”31 By connecting the crisis of legitimacy to procreation, Franklin shows how in the eighties, the question of authenticity, whether referring to something seemingly abstract like “information” or to something supposedly practical like “motherhood,” is always narrated.
Rothman also points out that it is Mrs. Stern who quit work in order to care for Baby M, although Mr. 100 One effaced in the court documents, the other overdetermined by scores of shrinks and media pundits, the two together pose problems for how women can negotiate their own relationships in light of the new reproductive technologies. It is easy to see Elizabeth Stern as the villain of the case. Portrayed as uptight, repressed, put-together, Betsy Stern most of all appears to be trying to get something for nothing—a baby without labor.