Creating a shared history: serial narratives in The young woman's journal, 1889-1894

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Humanities
Department Communication
Author Baker, Sherry
Title Creating a shared history: serial narratives in The young woman's journal, 1889-1894
Date 1988-12
Description "Creating a Shared History: Serial Narratives in The Young Woman's Journal, 1889-1894" is a cultural press history and textual analysis of contemporary indigenous serial literature in a nineteenth-century Mormon young women's periodical. It tests press historian Catherine Covert's assertions that some of the functions of the press are (1) to be a conservator of values, and (2) to engender harmony and affiliation among community members. The investigator places the Journal within the historical/ cultural context from which it was written, and identifies specific messages in the serial narratives that encouraged the preservation of Mormon values and Mormon community affiliation. The author gives a brief overview of Utah press history, discusses the social and historical forces that shaped nineteenth-century Mormon women, reviews the history of the Journal and its editor, Susa Young Gates, and analyzes the text of the Journal's first five years of serial narratives. Some of the major affiliative themes were recitations of personal and group suffering and sacrifice for the religion; empathy for Mormons of other generations and nationalities; defense of Mormon theology and lifestyle; and encouragement to marry within the Church. Positive depictions of polygamy continued in the stories, even after Mormon leaders issued a public announcement that plural marriage would no longer be sanctioned. The tone of the narratives was ardently defensive of polygamy, and of plural wives, as if they had been written for the benefit of Mormon foes. Inasmuch as they were written exclusively for an audience of young Mormon women, however, many of whom were products of plurality, the defensive stance is notable. Despite recent studies that document continued Mormon participation in and allegiance to polygamy, this author suggests a disenchantment with the practice, at least among young Mormon women. As Covert's assertions would predict, the messages of the Journal's narratives sought to reduce that disenchantment and alienation and to foster bonding with the community. Covert's assertions about the functions of the press are well supported by all aspects of this study. The thesis is also evidence that contemporary indigenous literature is a rich source of cultural history.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Sherry Baker 1988
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 3,539,825 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2472
ARK ark:/87278/s6cj8vcr
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-07-23
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 196048
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6cj8vcr
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