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HIST 3479 Bad Habits: Defining and Controlling the "Minor Vices" in Twentieth-Century America

3 hours, 3 credits

The history of changing definitions of "minor vices" in the modern United States (1840-present); the social costs of addictive, dangerous, or economically non-productive behaviors; emphasis on "moral panics" concerning behavior of adolescents and young adults; smoking, drinking, and drug-taking, "inappropriate" movies, comic books, music, sexual activities, video-gaming and internet; commercial forces shaping and promoting the "bad habits" for profit; regulatory solutions to behavioral choices; underlying assumptions about children's purity and susceptibility.


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