Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
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Mackinac Island Resort Occupational Folklore Collection - GLMS 98
This one-half cubic foot collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes by Peter M. Coogan on December 4, 1990. Instruments of gift were signed by the interviewees related to this collection on various dates in July 1990.
Literary and property rights were dedicated to the public. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of conservation and research.
Peter M. Coogan was enrolled at Bowling Green State University and completed this research as an independent study course in the Department of Popular Culture. Coogan was a resident of Kent, Ohio at the time he donated this collection to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes.
This one-half cubic foot collection is the product of Peter M. Coogan's research conducted on Mackinac Island, Michigan in the summer of 1990. Coogan interviewed seasonal employees of the hotels and restaurants for an independent study course administered by Bowling Green State University. Coogan sought information on working conditions and social activities in which these seasonal workers were involved.
Coogan drew from sociological theory on rites of passage within societies in order to characterize the nature of the work and social conditions faced by the college students employed for the tourist season on Mackinac Island. An ambiguous transitional stage of life was said to apply to the seasonal workers who were in a liminal state between childhood and full adulthood.
Interpersonal behavior toward other workers and employers was studied to assess the liminal state in which the workers lived while on Mackinac Island. An ambiguous mix of freedom and control with responsibility and irresponsibility marked the behavior of the seasonal workers. These employees had job-related responsibilities but little of the freedom workers have in more permanent employment settings.
Social relationships formed by the workers were frequently seen as unsatisfying because many of the employees seemed to want no responsibility to accompany their actions in the area of dating. Transition to full adulthood had yet to occur.
Coogan wrote his conclusions in a forty-one page research paper prepared from six audio tapes of interviews conducted with thirty-seven seasonal workers. Both the research paper and the taped interviews are available to researchers interested in seasonal labor conditions in the tourist industry or in liminal behavior in American young adults in the 18 to 22-year age range. Researchers interested in differences between male and female perceptions regarding dating may also find the interviews useful.
It should be noted that Coogan's sample of thirty-seven interviewees is roughly one percent of the total number of seasonal workers he determined were on Mackinac Island in 1990.
RESEARCH PAPER: Mackinac Island Resort Worker Occupational Folklore, by Peter M. Coogan, 1990 (2 copies)
Box 1, Folder 1
Series contains the forty-one page research paper Bowling Green State University student Peter M. Coogan wrote for an independent study course during the summer of 1990. Coogan interviewed thirty-seven seasonal workers at hotels and restaurants on Michigan's Mackinac Island. Most were college students. Coogan's interviews were intended to elicit information on working conditions faced by seasonal employees and on social activities they shared when not working. Series is paginated.
AUDIO RECORDING: Tape interviews
Box 1, Folder 2
Series contains six sixty-minute audio tapes on which Peter M. Coogan recorded his interviews of thirty-seven seasonal workers on Mackinac Island in the summer of 1990. A list of participants is available at the repository. Series is numerically arranged.
- Research Paper: "Mackinac Island Resort Worker Occupational Folklore," by Peter M. Coogan, 1990 (2 copies)
- Tape 1
- Tape 2
- Tape 3
- Tape 4
- Tape 5
- Tape 6
All six tapes are sixty minutes in length and are Memorex MRX I stock.
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