"Sociology of Christmas Cards"
(Sheila Johnson: Society, vol. 8, 1971, pp. 40-45)
- Semi-serious presentation of the research process
- Question- what influences taken-for-granted behavior of sending Christmas Cards
- Not really utilization of scientific method, but still interesting results- (could lead to
more formalized research)
- Focus on socially relevant categories: Socio-Economic Status (SES)- Social Class.
- Christmas Card sending appears to be influence by the SES of sender and recipient.
- Cards tend to be sent "upward" ("non-reciprocal)
- "Reciprocal cards" sent between equals
- Middle Class, due to its concern with mobility and a certain ambiguity as to status,
appear to be the "classic senders"
- - looks at friends and associates.
- Content analysis: Focus on type of card sent. Symbolic Interaction.
- Again social class appears relevant
- Compartmentalization: business vs. Friends
- "Powerful" professors- small, "museum" cards
All in all, the theme of the cards seem to be related to aspects of the real
or desired social class and mobility of the sender.
- Important executives: Big cards
- Artistic cards from male professors who (think) they have artistic wives
- "Socially aware" people demonstrate their convictions
- New children, new houses (President and White House)
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:34 PM