Chapter 5

Posted: November 28th, 2013





Chapter 5

The principle argument is that the employees were fighting for an eight-hour day. This meant eight hours for working, eight hours for rest and eight hours to do as they willed. Before then, people usually worked for more than ten hours a day and therefore they wanted to do more than work in the factories all day long. They wanted to improve their homes and spend more time with their families. The workers wanted to have more control in their lives by deciding what to do with their time. The opposition countered, stating that if the eight-hour rule was implemented, businesses would lose profits. They also cited the fact that some of the machinery required to be worked on for long hours. Both arguments were trying to bring out the fact that the country would benefit depending on how long the people worked. In fact, they used opposing views to prove their points. The opposition was concerned for the development of the country, in different ways. Religion was important to the people back then and therefore both sides argued their points from a religious perspective.

As people managed to acquire more time for leisure, sports became a big part of their relaxation periods. People were drawn to spectator sports, and they were attended by many despite the fact that some leisure was devoted to working days. Baseball drew large crowds to the field. The game was initially a men’s club but that changed as it became more commercialized. Sports provided a way for individuals from different backgrounds to interact. The young as well as the old men conversed about the game enhancing interactions. Company executives, young businesses and people from different professions interacted together. There were few women in the field and those who attended the games often left early. Women however participated in playing other sports. Former players and other stakeholders improved the game by developing the stadiums and the game in terms of coaching capabilities.

People were accustomed to machines usage when working and therefore they represented monotony and boredom since they were used for mechanical laboring purposes only. Coney Island offered a different view of machinery. People used machines such as roller coasters for leisure. The island enabled people from different social and cultural backgrounds a chance to meet and interact. The machines were extremely popular and attracted huge crowds of people. Immigrant communities acquired a way for leisure activities in Coney Island since no one was exempted from attending. This acted as an assimilation tool into the native communities present within the given location. Many people attended the parks as they easily had time away from work. Attendance was quite high within the summer period. Men often prided in bringing their families into the amusement area as this allowed healthy relations. The park also gave young women and men a chance to interact and date. Women only spent their money on transport while the young men saved enough money to please the females in the park.

The park culture that had been established at Coney Island changed the cultural norms of the people. It modified how the people interacted with each other and the manner of dressing and behavior. One critic argued that the park destroyed men’s souls. He based his argument on religion citing that men were supposed to work for six days and rest on the seventh. The parks represented a changing and emerging culture in America, as noted by the television and radio industry that changed Coney Island. Movies and television programs enabled people to receive entertainment in their homes and cinemas. It gave the young men a chance to impress the women by taking them to the films. The innovations expanded the leisure culture by presenting to people more relaxation opportunities.

The parks did liberate the people from the work lifestyle. It presented an opportunity to do more healthy social activities and experience more. Before that, people were mainly preoccupied with work and therefore the park gave them a relaxing opportunity. It also liberated them socially and culturally since it was no longer mandatory for people to associate with individuals from their own social classes. Additionally, people were free to interact with others from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the park liberated the people from a restrictive culture and gave them a chance to enjoy a new and emerging American culture based on collective and flexible cross-cultural approaches.

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