Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Bridget Hayden

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Kevin Greene

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Allison Formanack

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Allison Abra

Committee Member 4 School



Though the Great Depression and Second World War were consecutive eras and overlapped in numerous aspects, scholarship often overlooks the commonalities between these periods. To demonstrate these eras’ shared qualities, this thesis examines the relationship in emotional-cultures—the cultural norms that dictated how individuals felt and demonstrated their emotions—among Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees and U.S. Army enlistees during WWII.

The broad intent of this undertaking is to place the cultural history of the Great Depression and WWII in conversation and to show the advantage of inter- and multidisciplinary work by applying anthropological and historical theories of emotion. Though the historical study of emotions is growing, anthropologists have examined emotions for numerous decades and therefore provide a more rigorous range of approaches to examine the subject. Specifically, feelings and their manifestations give a more intimate viewpoint of social norms and expectations through the understanding of the individual and their relationship with their cultural environment in comparison to the broad understanding of such aspects found in popular culture.

Utilizing camp newsletters and correspondences, this thesis argues that the emotional-culture of CCC enrollees and U.S. Army soldiers overlap—specifically in how men felt and exhibited their emotions within the socio-cultural framework of masculinity. By analyzing the similarities in emotional-cultures between the CCC and U.S. Army, this examination contributes to the historiographical conversation about the shared cultural qualities between these two formative eras.