THE MODERNIZATION OF FAMILIAR FORMS THROUGH 1980
"Holy Mother, pierce me through; In my heart each wound renew."
Excerpt from a prayer card for sale in the late 1970s at the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, Lyndhurst, New Jersey
The mass cards, or the "prayer cards" as some workers called them, were counter-discursive incursions into the terrain of the dominant. From the perspective of the dominant they were an interruption not easily contained, they were an unpleasant questioning of dominant assumptions about the "prosperity" of postwar America. They were also the expression of how Italian-American workers perceived social relations in New Jersey and New York. For example, in one card, the language of subordination is quite