Rydell’s Thesis zBerger and Luckman’s “symbolic universe” zWorld Fairs as symbolic universes zOrganized from a particular class perspective zPerformed a hegemonic function zPresented an ideology of “progress” zSociety became scientific zCentral role played by ethnology and Smithsonian Institute
Symbolic Universe zStructures of legitimation that provide meaning for social experience- yPlaces all collective events in a cohesive unity that includes past, present and future yEstablishes a common frame of reference for the projection of individual actions yLinks people with their successors in a meaningful totality, giving meaning to an individual’s death
Columbian Exposition as Symbolic Universe zCohesive explanatory blueprint a reaction to country’s “unsettled condition” yDirectors of Fair offered “proper interpretation” xpropagated ideas and values of countries political, financial, corporate, and intellectual leaders xpresented an ideology of economic development labeled “progress” xtransmitted new scientific view of evolution from academia to popular culture ySubtext of Columbian Exposition was scientific racism
“Mythic” aspects of Exposition zWhite City yStatistics xJackson Park --650 acres xCost-- $31 million xAttendance-- 27,529,400 during 179 days x35 exposition corporation buildings, 38 state buildings, 18 foreign country buildings (86 nations, colonies, or principalities participated) xManufacturer’s and Mechanical Arts Building-- 44 acres, could hold 300,000 people with each having 6sq.ft. of space around them.
The foot of a main support arch in the Manufactures Building during construction.
Legacies and Aftermaths The original Ferris Wheel remained on the Midway until 1895, when it was dismantled and moved to 2643 North Clark Street, the present site of the Lincoln Park Post Office. It operated there until 1903 and was moved to St. Louis for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. The Ferris Wheel was dynamited and sold for scrap in 1906. Although the glory of the World's Columbian Exposition was temporary, its influence lived on long after the fair closed. Many of the products displayed at the Exposition later became everyday features of American life. Its assemblies influenced the way people thought and the park-like Exposition grounds made many Americans want to beautify their neglected cities.