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Class UnknownUndercover Investigations of American Work and Poverty from the Progressive Era to the Present$
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Mark Pittenger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767405

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767405.001.0001

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Finding the Line in Postmodern America, 1960–2010

Finding the Line in Postmodern America, 1960–2010

(p.177) 6 Finding the Line in Postmodern America, 1960–2010
Class Unknown

Mark Pittenger

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the persistence of undercover investigation in postmodern America, at a time when the very definitions of borders and identities underwent seemingly constant reconsideration. Although down-and-outers did not disappear after the 1960s, they would operate in dramatically changed contexts. A range of adventurers continued to employ the undercover technique, but less commonly to enter the worlds of hard work and poverty. Social scientists, influenced by disciplinary norms of objectivism, seldom fully immersed themselves in the working life. The period saw vigorous and proliferating assertions of identities that were grounded variously in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion. Furthermore, the nature of selfhood was coming to be understood in new ways.

Keywords:   undercover investigation, borders, identities, down-and-outers, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, selfhood

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