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American Gold Digger

Marriage, Money, and the Law from the Ziegfeld Follies to Anna Nicole Smith

Brian Donovan

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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung


The stereotype of the "gold digger" has had a fascinating trajectory in twentieth-century America, from tales of greedy flapper-era chorus girls to tabloid coverage of Anna Nicole Smith and her octogenarian tycoon husband. The term entered American vernacular in the 1910s as women began to assert greater power over courtship, marriage, and finances, threatening men's control of legal and economic structures. Over the course of the century, the gold digger stereotype reappeared as women pressed for further control over love, sex, and money while laws failed to keep pace with such realignments. The gold digger can be seen in silent films, vaudeville jokes, hip hop lyrics, and reality television. Whether feared, admired, or desired, the figure of the gold digger appears almost everywhere gender, sexuality, class, and race collide.

This fascinating interdisciplinary work reveals the assumptions and disputes around women's sexual agency in American life, shedding new light on the cultural and legal forces underpinning romantic, sexual, and marital relationships.

Weitere Titel in dieser Kategorie



intersection of race and gender, gender relations, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, gold digger, cultural history of marriage, Great Depression, neoliberalism, pre-code film, Peaches Browning, breach of promise, gender ideology, Anna Nicole Smith, postwar gender ideologies, social class, American cultural history, Lee Marvin, marriage crisis, folk devil, male gaze, historical sociology, misogyny, history of American divorce, intersectionality, intersection of gender and social class, postwar economic expansion, women’s and gender history, Ziegfeld Follies, divorce crisis, heart balm, postwar gender relations, Eleanor Holm, alimony, gender stereotype, moral panic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe, female, American cultural history of law, Anita Loos, gender trope