History 231 Reading Guide

Discussion: The Evolution of Colonial America:  Evidence from everyday life

  • James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten:  The Archaeology of Early American Life (1977; revised and expanded 1996).


  • What methodological and theoretical issues does Deetz's study address?
  • What evidence does he examine?  Why is the detail important?
  • What chronology of cultural change does he offer?  In what ways is this a political chronology?  How does his model incorporate evolution and break points?  How does he incorporate regional diversity?  Which cultural traditions do not fit?
  • What causal model does he propose?