Chapter 2: Beyond Subsistence: The Rise of the Middle Class in the Twentieth Century

  1. Why were movies—and performers—considered low-status in the early days of the movie industry?
  2. Describe the social context at the start of the twentieth century. What social changes took place that enabled the growth of the movie industry?
  3. What was the purpose of the earliest fan magazines?
  4. What tactics did fan magazines use in order to shift public opinion about movies? About “picture players?”
  5. What role did World War I play in the evolution of the movie industry?
  6. How and why did fan magazines tend to focus so much on female performers?
  7. Describe the advertisements in the early fan magazines. What kind of lifestyle did they promote?
  8. How did stories about celebrities in the 1910s reflect the Horatio Alger myth?
  9. Discuss how advertisements in the early fan magazines reflected the notion of upward mobility.
  10. How do articles about celebrities differ from those of the 1910s? In what way are they similar?
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