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HIST3455 Consumer Society in Historical Perspective 21/22 Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk

Consumer Society in Historical Perspective, 2021/22, Semester 2
Professor Regina Blaszczyk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Useful Overviews

Blaszczyk, Regina Lee, American Consumer Society, 1865-2005: From Hearth to HDTV (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009).    

Stearns, Peter N., Consumerism in World History: The Global Transformation of Desire, 2d ed. (London: Routledge, 2006), especially chapters 1-5, pp. 1-65. Online resource.

Trentmann, Frank. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Online resource.

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Week 1: Introduction to the History of Consumer Society

Auslander, Lenora. “Beyond Words,” American Historical Review, 110 (2005): 1015-45.

Laird, Pamela Walker. “The Business of Consumer Culture History: Systems, Interactions, and Modernization,” in Hartmut Berghoff and Uwe Spiekermann, eds., Decoding Modern Consumer Societies (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011): 89-110.

Restad, Penne, “The Third Sex: Historians, Consumer Society, and the Idea of the American Consumer,” in Journal of Social History (spring 2014): 769-786.

Strasser, Susan. “Making Consumption Conspicuous: Transgressive Topics Go Mainstream,” Technology and Culture 43 (Oct. 2002): 755-770.

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Week 2: The American Dream

Barton, Christopher P., and Kyle Somerville, “Play Things: Children’s Racialized Mechanical Banks and Toys, 1880-1930,” International Journal of Historical Archeology (March 2012): 47-85.

Cullen, Jim. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Online resource.

Ewen, Elizabeth, Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars: Life and Culture on the Lower East Side, 1890-1925. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1985. Online resource.    

Ownby, Ted. American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. Online resource.    

Samuel, Lawrence R. The American Dream: A Cultural History. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2012. Online resource.

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Week 3: Victorian Middle-Class Culture in Britain and America

Blumin, Stuart. “The Hypothesis of Middle-Class Formation in Nineteenth-Century America: A Critique and Some Proposals,” in American Historical Review 90 (April 1985): 299-338.

Carnevali, Francesca, and Newton, Lucy. “Pianos for the People: From Producer to Consumer in Britain, 1851-1914,” in Enterprise and Society (2013): 37-70.

Camp, Stacey Lynn. “Consuming Citizenship? The Archeology of Mexican Immigrant Ambivalence in Early Twentieth-Century Los Angeles,” in International Journal of Historical Archeology 15 (Sept. 2011): 305-328.

Maldonado, Tomas, and John Cullars, “The Idea of Comfort,” Design Issues 8 (autumn 1991): 35-43.

Mullins, Paul R. “Race and the Genteel Consumer: Class and African-American Consumption, 1850-1930,” Historical Archeology (1999): 22-38.

Mullins, Paul R., et al. “Consuming Lines of Difference: The Politics of Wealth and Poverty along the Color Line,” Historical Archeology 45 (2011): 140-150.

Shannon, Brett, “Refashioning Men: Fashion, Masculinity, and the Cultivation of the Male Consumer in Britain, 1860-1914,” Victorian Studies 46 (summer 2004): 597-630.

Wintle, Claire, “Career Development: Domestic Display as Imperial, Anthropological, and Social Trophy,” Victorian Studies (Winter 2008): 279-288.

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Week 4: The World of Goods on Display: World’s Fairs

Raizman, David, and Robey, Ethan, eds., Expanding Nationalisms at World's Fair's: Identity, Diversity, and Exchange, 1851-1915 (Abington: Routledge, 2018). Electronic resource.

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Week 5: The World of Goods on Display: Department Stores

Breckenridge, Carol A. “The Aesthetics and Politics of Colonial Collecting: India at World Fairs,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 31, no. 2 (Apr. 1989): 195-216.

Miller, Michael B. The Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869-1920. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981. Electronic resource.

Philadelphia Free Public Library, Centennial Exhibition Digital Collection,

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Week 6: Looking Good, Dressing the Part

Buckley, Cheryl, and Hazel Clark. Fashion and Everyday Life: London and New York. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. Online resource in the Berg Fashion Library.

Worth, Rachel. Fashion and Class. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. Online resource.

Connolly, Marguerite, “The Disappearance of the Domestic Sewing Machine, 1890-1925,” Winterthur Portfolio 34 (spring 1999): 31-48.

Crane, Diana. Fashion and Its Social Agenda: Class, Gender and Identity in Clothing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), ch. (pp. 1- 25).

Jones, Geoffrey. “Blonde and Blue-Eyed? Globalizing Beauty, c. 1945-c. 1980.” Economic History Review 61, no. 1 (2008): 125-154.

Lindsey, Treva B., “Black No More: Skin Bleaching and the Emergence of New Negro Womanhood Beauty Culture,” Journal of Pan African Studies 4 (2011): 97-116.

Schorman, Rob. “Ready or Not: Custom-Made Ideals and Ready-Made Clothes in Late 19th-Century America,” Journal of American Culture (winter 1996), 111-120.

Tulloch, Carol. “Angel in the Market Place: The African-Jamaican Higgler, 1880-1907, pp. 9-58 in Carol Tulloch, The Birth of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora. London: Bloomsbury, 2018, in the Berg Fashion Library.

Worth, Rachel. Fashion and Class. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. Online resource.

Zakim, Michael, “A Ready Made Business: The Birth of the Clothing Industry in America,” Business History Review (spring 1999): 61-90.

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Week 7: Advertising the American Dream: Race, Gender and American Consumer Culture

Cohen, Joanna. “Promoting Pleasure as Political Economy: The Transformation of American Advertising, 1800 to 1850,” Winterthur Portfolio 48 (summer/autumn 2014): 163-190.

Dolan, Mark K, “Extra! Chicago Defender Race Records Ads Show South from Afar,” Southern Cultures (fall 2007): 106-124.

Foster, Travis M. “The Ladies’ Home Journal, Sororal Politics, and the Wages of White Womanhood,” chapter 2 in Genre and White Supremacy in the Postemancipation United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Online resource.

Laird, Pamela Walker, “’The Car without a Single Weakness’: Early Automobile Advertising,” Technology and Culture 37 (Oct. 1996): 796-812.

Lyth, Peter. “Think of Her as Your Mother: Airline Advertising and the Stewardess in America, 1930-1980,” Journal of Transport History 30 (2012): 1-21.

Morgan, Jo-Ann, “Mammy the Huckster: Selling the Old South for the New Century,” American Art 9 (1995): 86-109.

Marchand, Roland. “Advertisements at Social Tableaux,” Advertising and Society Review 1 (2000). Online resource.

Scanlon, Jennifer, “Redefining Thrift: The Ladies’ Home Journal and the Modern Woman,” Pennsylvania Legacies 12 (Nov. 2012): 12-17.

Schorman, Rob, “Claude Hopkins, Earnest Calkins, Bissell Carpet Sweepers and the Birth of Modern Advertising,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 7 (April 2008), 181-219.

Schorman, Rob. “’This Astounding Car for $1,500”: The Year Automobile Advertising Came of Age,” Enterprise and Society 11 (Sept. 2010): 468-523.

Schröder, Nicole, “Commodifying Difference: Depictions of the ‘Other’ in Nineteenth-Century American Trade Cards,” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 34 (2012), 85-115.

Stephens, Debra Lynn, et al., “The Beauty Myth and Female Consumers: The Controversial Role of Advertising,” Journal of Consumer Affairs 28 (1994): 137-153.

Strasser, Susan, “Customer to Consumer: The New Consumption of the Progressive Era,” OAH Magazine of History 13 (spring 1999): 10-14.

Zanoni, Elizabeth. “’Per Voi, Signore’: Gendered Representations of Fashion, Food, and Facism in Il Progresso Italo-Americano during the 1930s,” Journal of American Ethnic History 31 (spring 2012); 33-71.

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Week 8: Appliances and Automobiles

Caldor, Lendor. Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. Online resource.

Flink, James J., The Automobile Age. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990. Online resource.

Gelber, Steven M. “Do-It-Yourself: Constructing, Repairing and Maintaining Domestic Masculinity,” American Quarterly 49 (March 1997): 66-112.

Harris, Howell J., “Inventing the U.S. Stove Industry, ca. 1815-1875: Making and Selling the First Universal Consumer Durable,” Business History Review 82 (winter 2006): 701-733.

Harris, Howell J., “’The Stove Trade Needs Change Continually’: Designing the First Mass-Market Consumer Durable, ca. 1810-1930,” Winterthur Portfolio 43 (winter 2009): 365-406.

Kinahan, Anne-Marie. “’The Colored Lady Knows Better’: Marketing the “New Century Washer” in Canadian Home Journal, 1910-1912,” Canadian Journal of Communications 38 (2012), 187-205.

Nickles, Shelley. “’Preserving Women’: Refrigerator Design as Social Process in the 1930s,” Technology and Culture 43, no. 4 (Oct. 2002): 693-727.

Nye, David E., ‘Technology and the Production of Difference’, American Quarterly, 58 (2006), 597-618.

Olney, Martha L. “Advertising, Consumer Credit, and the ‘Consumer Durables Revolution’ of the 1920s,” Journal of Economic History 47 (June 1987): 489-491.

Scott, Peter. “Managing Door-to-Door Sales of Vacuum Cleaners in Interwar Britain,” Business History Review 82 (2008): 761-788.

Shrum, Rebecca K., “Selling Mr. Coffee: Design, Gender, and the Branding of a Kitchen Appliance,” Winterthur Portfolio 46 (winter 2012): 271-298.

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Week 9: Postwar Consumer Culture in Britain and America

Fowler, David. Youth Culture in Modern Britain, c. 1920-c. 1970: From Ivory Tower to Global Movement: A History. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Online resource.  

Hale, Grace Elizabeth, A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Online resource.

Hall, Stuart, Resistance through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain, 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2006. Online resource.

Horowitz, Daniel. Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939-1979. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004. Online resource.

Howard, Vicki. From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. Online resource.

Spiegel, Lynn. Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Online resource.

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Week 10: Modern Electronics: From Recorded Sound to Television

Bodroghkozy, Aniko, Groove Tube: Sixties Television and the Youth Rebellion. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001). Online resource.

Butsch, Richard. The Making of American Audiences: From Stage to Television, 1750-1990. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Online resource.

Dinnerstein, Joel. Swinging the Machine: Modernity, Technology and African-American Culture Between the Wars. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003. Online resource.

Samuel, Lawrence R. Brought to You By: Postwar Television Advertising and the American Dream. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001). Online resource.

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Week 11: Social Media and the Attention Economy

Dovey, Jon, and Helen W. Kennedy, Games Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2006. Online resource.

Fuchs, Christian. Social Media: A Critical Introduction. Los Angeles and London: Sage, 2014. Online resource.

Gardner, Howard, and Katie Davis. The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. Online resource.

Gibson, Pamela Church. Fashion and Celebrity Culture. London: Berg, 2012, in Berg Fashion Library. Online resource.

Gillespie, Tarleton, Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018. Online resource.

Marwick, Alice E. Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. Online resource.

Vaidhyanathan, Siva, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Online resource.

This list was last updated on 23/01/2022