The Goal is Whiteness : Yugoslav-American Communism Gender and Race in Postwar Pittsburgh

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Scott N. Duryea (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Karin L. 1968- Zipf

Abstract: This thesis examines Yugoslav Americans' expressions of gender whiteness and patriotism in post-World War II Pittsburgh as reactionary to the frenzied and anxious atmosphere of potential Soviet invasion and Communist subversion. The example of western Pennsylvania illustrates the anxieties of Communist influence and the struggle for genuine manhood following the war. Pittsburghers perceived Communism as many Americans did at the time: not as a distant foreign threat but that which presented itself in local life transforming daily mundane affairs into potential targets for Communist deception. Among the indicators of communist subversion degenerative masculinity and whiteness served as traits which conservative Americans used to distinguish between loyal Americans and un-American effete and non-white communist sympathizers.  As a military-industrial hub Pittsburgh attracted South Slavic immigrants in the early twentieth century. By the late 1940s as self-proclaimed communists and their conservative enemies fought for control over social and economic institutions in western Pennsylvania Slavs their culture and their organizations became intertwined with fears of communist subversion as well as the erosion of proper gender roles and racial categories. This study investigates Yugoslav American reactions to this sociopolitical environment and how Americans of Croatian Slovenian and Serbian descent participated in the cultural phenomenon of postwar anxieties.

Additional Information

Date: 2011
History, Gender studies, Slavic Studies, Communism, Gender, Immigration, Race, Red scare
Yugoslav Americans--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh--20th century
Anti-communist movements--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh--20th century
Pittsburgh (Pa.)--History--20th century
Cvetic, Matthew, 1909-1962.

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