Senior Thesis Abstract (McEntee)
Recent Trends in the
Knitting World: Impact of the Internet, Feminism, and Other Social Forces
Sub-field: Medical Anthropology
Advisor: Janet Monge, Biological Anthropologist, Department of Anthropology
Recent years have seen an increase in young knitters and male knitters, as well as an expansion in the types of projects undertaken and materials used. The aim of this project is to determine whether knitters of different age groups differ significantly in their experiences and motivations. I tested whether there had been observable change since the 1960s in five areas: community, productivity, creativity, health benefits, and gender. Drawing on anthropological tradition, I collected data via three different methods: searching historical sources, conducting personal interviews and surveys, and engaging in participant observation. The two most significant influences in the world of knitting between the 1960s and today have been the creation of the internet and the ebb and flow of feminism. These influences have been important, but as a whole, I found knitters to be more similar across age and gender categories than different.