As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 83,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. About this journal The Journal of Consumer Culture is an established journal, supporting and promoting the continuing expansion in interdisciplinary research focused on consumption and consumer culture, opening up debates and areas of exploration. History of consumer behavior seems to be highly intertwined with the history of marketing thought. I mean, you have celebrity endorsements dating all the way back into the 1920s and, of course, celebrity endorsements are a huge aspect of advertising in the modern era. Very early on in the 1900s and 1920s we see that beauty products were the most advertised consumer products. Several factors contributed to this second American Industrial Revolution and the birth of modern America. Interest in the influence of culture on consumer psychology and behavior has escalated in the last decade, and the way that culture is conceptualized and its impact on how consumer behavior is examined has changed substantially over the years. Reynolds: Yeah, absolutely. Try the Morning Bell and get the day’s most important news and commentary from a team committed to the truth in formats that respect your time…and your intelligence. We do see that roads play kind of a key role, right? The notion that  ‘Greed is Good’ was not born in the 1980s, nor even in the 20th century. This chapter offers an overview of how research on the impact of culture on consumer behavior has evolved over the years. My undergraduate degree was actually in biblical studies but I did make the transition over to history when I was in seminary. Thank you so much, Dr. McMullen. What are the striking similarities between advertisements through the decades? (Photo: andresr/Getty Images). There’s this kind of interesting gender role change that is affected by the market economy and the role of consumption in American life. The book is organized to offer an historically-grounded and theoretically-informed discussion of contemporary consumer culture as well as a critical The purpose of this chapter is to examine how information society interacts with consumer society. December 09, 2019 I think that’s something that not a lot of people realize is something that influences us day to day. I mean, I think it’s important to realize that consumer culture had developed earlier than the Cold War, but that the Cold War really expanded it and maybe increased it. And we see a real shift with women as well, where the Victorian mother, she … gets really separated from work. McMullen: Sure. Post-World War II we do see that roads play a very key role in the development of what we might call modern American consumer culture. [1] [2] [3] The term alludes to the overall impact and intellectual guidance exerted by the media (primarily TV, but also the press, radio and cinema), not only on public opinion but also on tastes and values. Consumer culture is based on the idea of demographics, which is targeting a large group of people with similar interests, traits or cultural attributes. McMullen: Yeah, I mean, I think that there is. In the final decades of the nineteenth century, the United States experienced an industrial transformation. Critics feel that consumerism causes class divisions. 163-192). This is what they have. By the mid-nineteenth century, candy, toys, and books had become part of a new regimen of positive reinforcement for parent-pleasing behavior. The Rise of Consumer Culture In most conventional descriptions of the birth of capitalism, consumption is rarely portrayed as a crucial phenomenon, let alone one which is capable of being the propulsive force behind historical processes. Now, that does change once we get into the 20th century, but throughout the 1800s we kind of see that’s the role that department stores play. Send an email to Virginia. Josh McMullen, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Regent University in Virginia Beach, delves into when and how America become the consumer giant that it is today. I think one of the places that we see this very clearly is in this Nixon/Khrushchev debate. McMullen: I’ve been teaching history … at the university level for close to 12 years now, almost 10 of those here at Regent University. Can you explain a little bit of that transition? People have been doing a lot of great work in this field for many, many years. … He’s been doing work for several decades now in the area of consumerism and American culture advertising but there’s a lot of others as well. I mean, even children, if we think about it, children often engaged in farm work. The train played a key role in that early part of the consumer era in America. McMullen: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot out there. She’s kind of seen more in a domestic role and that domestic role in a lot of ways also takes on a consuming role, a consumption role. I think that one of the key ways that as a culture, and there are many ways that America defined itself in the face of kind of Soviet communism, but one of the key ways that Americans wanted to distinguish themselves from Soviet communism was to be this land of abundance, this land of economic, particularly, abundance. Donate now. Some critics of the department store may have seen it as loosening maybe the moral fiber of the Victorian family. Newsletters Newsletter1 2008.6 Newsletter2 2008.8 Newsletter3 2008.11 Newsletter4 2009.2 Newsletter5 2009.6 Newsletter6 2009. Virginia Allen I first began as a church historian and then eventually went on to do doctoral work in American history. Their time in the department store was more kind of a period of life rather than a new self-identity. This is largely beyond the control of producers as culture emerges as a social process over time. In Consumer culture: History, theory and politics (pp. She’s no longer really seen as a worker. We live in a world overflowing with things. 163-192). This is absolutely tied to American identity in the ’50s and ’60s. Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems. That kind of celebrity, that celebrity status. A "consumer culture" is one whose economy is defined by the buying and spending of consumers. In New York, of course, we think of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and you’ve got Marshall Field’s in Chicago, Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia. I mean, it was either family farms and so you were producing crops either to sustain yourself or maybe to also engage in trade, or if you are an artisan, you know, a baker, a butcher, your shop tended to be connected to your home or very close to your home and so work and family life, there wasn’t a sharp distinction. They can enjoy this good meal. "The Cultural Production of Economic Value." There’s a whole industry of consumption that arises around roads. They would quit their job, they would quit their job at the department store, and kind of really become that kind of domestic matriarch of the Victorian Era. These stores developed over time and so there’s actually a lot of debates surrounding which was really truly the first department store in terms of how we think of a department store. E-mail Citation » In one of the most comprehensive of the key textbooks on consumer culture, Sassatelli presents a rich interpretation of the diverse range of They can afford this nice home in the suburbs. Consumer culture pursues everything superficial and external instead of fulfilling spiritual desires. Showing the cultural and institutional processes that have brought the notion of the ‘consumer’ to life, this book guides the reader on a compreh Sassatelli, R. (2007). / Frank Trentmann traces the roots of today’s rampant consumer culture to the imperial ambitions of the great European powers. Allen: Let’s talk about the rise of the department store. I guess if there was one criticism of the department stores, it was the fact that so many young women worked in department stores and in some ways this gave those women a little bit more social and economic independence. Imagine walking out of a shop not just with a new tablet device or a pair of trainers but with all the oil, aluminium and other materials needed to make them and you would be carrying an additional 300 shopping bags every week. Although the notion of consumer culture did not emerge in Western culture until after World War II, the historical rise of a recognizable set of cultural values and norms associated with consumption certainly goes back to earlier stages of the modern era and can be traced back to the Renaissance. VERY hard read, as in really not good for students who don't have a stellar grasp of the English language (and that includes most US Could you go a little more in-depth about sort of the thought process behind this shift in work identity and the thought processes behind that and behind this larger amount of consumption that started to take place? You break down that shift in American history when the home really began to become a place of consumption instead of production. Lizabeth Cohen has written a book called “A Consumers’ Republic,” which is excellent in that area. There’s this debate in Moscow in 1959 between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev and they’re having this debate in this model American home. It’s only very recently in history that we’ve been able to buy more than the bare necessities. Consumer culture : history, theory and politics Roberta Sassatelli Sage Publications, c2007 : pbk : hbk This is a comparison to this Soviet family who lives in Soviet bloc housing, who lives on rationed food, who doesn’t have the latest technology. Consumer culture is closely to tied capitalism, because it is driven by money. Allen: So interesting. The department store … you know, it wasn’t like it was unveiled at one moment. British wardrobes are bursting with over six billion items of clothing, roughly a hundred per person. I think one of the leaders in this field is an historian by the name of T.J. Jackson Lears. Even these figures reveal only so much. That seems, of course, completely normal to us now. London: SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781446212684.n3 Sassatelli, Roberta. Nixon is … basically pointing at this model American home and saying, “This is where our average American family lives. I In Consumer culture: History, theory and politics (pp. … Transportation in general has always been tied very closely to consumer culture in America. As scholars have wrestled with explaining consumer cultures, early work mainly All, however, agree that consumerism is the father of economic freedom and Well, in the early period of the department store, so 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, it was the railroad that played a key role because the railroad really did primarily two things. Philip Reynolds I mean, it’s hard for us to actually imagine anything different than that but that was not always the case. You know, it’s so easy to forget that there was a time before Amazon Prime where we couldn’t just buy anything when we wanted to, but there actually was a shift in society and this didn’t just happen by accident. Kind of American thought is you’ve reached a particular status and basically that status means that you’re able to consume. Post-World War II we do see that roads play a very key role in the development of … You’ve got hotels and motels, you’ve got fast food, you’ve got all kinds of things that just cater to people traveling the roadways. McMullen: Yes. Enjoy reading the lightly edited transcript below or listening to the podcast: Virginia Allen: We are joined on The Daily Signal Podcast by Dr. Josh McMullen, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Thank you. There really is this comparison with kind of the Soviet Union. Philip Reynolds is a digital specialist at The Heritage Foundation. But really most of these women, at least in the 1800s, working in department stores were not kind of radical feminists. Three projects currently coexist that are characterized by different They rise in the context of all kinds of industrial revolution and transportation developments. R. Sassatelli (2007) Consumer Culture. I’d be happy to. (pp. You have others like Macy’s. Programme Moving Around: People, Things and Practices in Consumer Culture 4-6 September 2014, Gakushuin University, Tokyo Day 1 Thursday 04 September 2014 … In Consumer culture: History, theory and politics (pp. In cultural studies, media culture refers to the current Western capitalist society that emerged and developed from the 20th century, under the influence of mass media. Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription. / Again, with those roadways, just like with trains, we see increased transportation through trucking, which allows goods and services to be done more cheaply, which brings down prices of consumer goods, which allows people to spend more or to get more … bang for their buck. They also tended to be apprentices and they learned the trade of their father or their grandfathers. I appreciate it. Dr. McMullen, thank you so much for joining us. Leave a comment, America saw a cultural shift in the early 1800s, when the home began to become a place of consumption instead of production. How long have you been teaching history and was that something you always knew you wanted to do? Showing the cultural and institutional processes that have brought the notion of the ‘consumer’ to life, this book guides the reader on a compreh Sassatelli, R. (2007). / "Utility and Social Competition." In the Victorian Era, you really begin to see this kind of rise of the Christian gentleman who kind of … leaves the home, goes out into the marketplace, kind of does battle—the marketplace is this kind of jungle, this place where, you know, he’s really got to fight tooth and nail—and then he comes home and the home is kind of a place where he’s the gentleman, it’s full of etiquette. We do begin to see a shift in the late 1700s and early 1800s in American culture. It allowed those goods to be brought in at cheaper rates to these department stores and so the department stores, you know, they don’t rise in a vacuum. Clearly democratic capitalism is better than Soviet communism.” I think that’s a key kind of moment and I think it really illustrates the importance of consumption in the battle against communism in the ’50s, ’60s, and even into the ’70s and ’80s. think about consumer culture as a phenomenon evolving across time rather than as a distinct stage of late modernity. Introduction: born to consume. Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. Can the history of consumption guide us to a wiser future? McMullen: Yes. Join the millions of people who benefit from The Daily Signal’s fair, accurate, trustworthy reporting with direct access to: Don’t have time to read the Washington Post or New York Times? Reynolds: You know, this shift of work identity really that we see taking place, it was very important to that era, especially, I remember, in our U.S. History 1 class we talked about the Victorian Era and that was kind of one of the hallmarks of the Victoria Era, this work identity. How have department stores and advancements in transportation influenced consumerism? There’s this kind of what we might call bifurcation between work and home life, where people begin to leave home to go to work. It allows people to travel to stores. You know, Thanksgiving was very recently. Then get The Morning Bell, an early morning edition of the day’s most important political news, conservative commentary and original reporting from a team committed to following the truth no matter where it leads. We don’t necessarily need to get into details but there was this model American home and Nixon and Khrushchev have this debate in this model American home. History, Theory and Politics, Sage, London. Now, this whole rise in consumerism has been going on for quite some time, but we definitely, I think, see somewhat of a boom, and you can confirm or deny this, but a boom in the 1950s and that’s right around the time when we have Communist Russia really growing in power and the Soviet Union expanding. A History of Consumer Culture | History Today A History of Consumer Culture The notion that ‘Greed is Good’ was not born in the 1980s, nor even in the 20th century. @Virginia_Allen5 Turn back the pages of history to the rise of consumerism in America. He identifies three moments in history that undergird the development of modern consumer culture. Particularly in the colonial era, the home really was kind of a place of production. Allen: Both Philip and I graduated from Regent University and we were both privileged to to have you as a professor and to take your history classes. (Lury, 1996, p.8) The commodity self, a term created by Stuart Ewen, is used to illustrate how people’s selves and McMullen: Well, thank you so much for having me. Consumer culture are the shared experiences, symbols and norms that evolve in markets for consumer products. Le Bon Marché in Paris makes a case that it’s really the first. Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics - Roberta Sassatelli - 洋書の購入は楽天ブックスで。全品送料無料!購入毎に「楽天ポイント」が貯まってお得!みんなのレビュー・感想も満載。 Reynolds: Yeah. Allen: With that rise of consumerism, obviously, all those products now needed to be advertised so that people would buy them. Business history resides, therefore, at the core of consumer culture history, which itself has reflected and energized the processes of modernization. 57-73). What was the very first department store and how did Americans react to its establishment? We purchase things, we put them in our homes on display. Then the railroad also could bring people on the outskirts of the cities or these kind of just beginning suburbs into the department stores. To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive. Over the course of approximately 30 years, America became an industrial and agricultural giant and the world’s greatest economic power. There’s even some great books out there that talk about the intermingling of economic and political policy in the United States with consumerism. One of my favorite subjects that we discussed in your U.S. history class was the rise of consumerism in America. We do. … What sort of role did [road infrastructure] play in the rise of consumerism? Wow. Is split into 3 subsections, History, cultural theory and political implications of consumer culture. I’ve always been fascinated by history. The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Philip Reynolds: Dr. McMullen, let’s start with an easy question. It’s called “Consumer Rites.” It talks about the intermingling of consumerism and holidays in America. People can take vacations, they can live in the suburbs, they can travel further to work, they can drive to stores. A history of the digitalization of consumer culture: From Amazon through Pirate Bay to FarmVille Vili Lehdonvirta1 Abstract. The first was Elizabethan politics in sixteenth-century England, where Queen Elizabeth I introduced the use of objects to her highly ceremonial … Is there a link between this expansion of communism and America’s fear of communism and the rise of consumer culture? Early In Consumer culture: History, theory and politics (pp. You know, we tend to think of the 1950s as kind of this car-crazy culture. 1-8). Ironically, the concept of demographics can be traced back to Sigmund Freud and his idea of desire. It really is shocking how closely the advertising strategies of our own era match some of the advertising strategies of the 1910s, 1920s. In the nineteenth century, children's consumer culture shifted from training goods (like blocks and moralizing books) to playful and fantasy toys and stories. They liked the independence that the job gave them, the economic and the social independence, but most of them still went on to get married. For anyone who’s interested in learning more about the history of this rise of consumerism in America, do you have any great resources that you could recommend? (pp. You know, there is this interesting shift, particularly in identity, and so in the Victorian Era you have pretty strong, and we might even say strict, kind of female and male roles, and of course there have always been male and female roles in all periods of society. From the very beginnings of advertising, you begin to see a celebrity endorsement. London: SAGE. The conference will bring researchers from diverse fields together to tackle these questions, and we hope to establish a global community for making further efforts to study the history of consumer culture in cooperation. Consumer culture: History, theory and politics. How Media Bias and ‘Woke Identity’ Have Infiltrated Newsrooms, Texas’ Unsuccessful Lawsuit Raises Voting Issues States Should Heed, In Blow to Trump, Supreme Court Rejects Texas’ Election Lawsuit, Can We Restore America? You want to look this way because first impressions matter and many of the commercials that we see today still appeal to that “first impressions matter” kind of mentality. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Josh McMullen: It’s very wonderful to be here. You know, you want this basketball player or this football player or this musician to endorse your product, whatever that product may be. The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. There’s easily this appeal to image from the very beginning, right? The United States had gone over there as part of the United States Information Agency. Think about the kind of consumption that would have happened because of all of that holiday travel. Allen: That is really interesting. There’s a classic book on advertising in the American dream by Roland Marchand. An abundance of natural resources were discovered and exploited, creating new industries a… I think there’s also kind of a fun read by Leigh Eric Schmidt. You know, all of these these now-department stores can kind of try to make a case that they were truly the first, but they all really begin to emerge in the mid-1800s and by the late 1860s, really 1870s and 1880s, the department store as kind of we know it really emerged. I think Americans at this point were already embracing consumerism, that in many ways the middle class and consumption were almost synonymous, right? 32-52). I remember sitting in your history classes just being amazed at how you were able to really make history come alive. Newsletter7 2009.11 Newsletter8 2010.3 Newsletter9 2010.6 Newsletter10 2010.10 Newsletter11 And did consumerism play a role in the battle against communism in the mid-1900s? I don’t know what the exact statistics today would be, but I’m assuming that beauty products still tend to be some of the most heavily advertised products that we have on the market. View History of Consumer Culture Research Papers on Academia.edu for free. Yeah, [there are] striking similarities between early advertising and today. The train played a key role in that early part of the consumer era in America. Ever feel like the only difference between the New York Times and Washington Post is the name? Fantasy entered into children's consumer culture with the emergence of storie… London: SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781446212684.n4 Sassatelli, Roberta. He looks at Easter, he looks at Christmas, he looks at Valentine’s Day, and that’s kind of a fun read for people who really enjoy those holidays, but they can also see the intermingling of consumerism with those holidays. Consumer culture entails the … Even as a child, I tended to really enjoy nonfiction kind of history books. There’s always been an appeal to image as well. We wanted to show that democratic capitalism literally could produce the goods in comparison to, you know, these descriptions of the Soviet Union as kind of these bleak non-consumeristic … you know, this land where no one had access to the latest and greatest goods. McMullen: Yeah, that’s a great question. © Copyright 2020 History Today Ltd. Company no. / The interstate highway system is built during this time. McMullen: Yeah, there’s been some wonderful cultural historians who have done work on advertising in America. Those are just a few resources that people could go to. We discuss these questions and more on this episode of The Daily Signal Podcast. ‘Green Debates on “Industrial Conservatory”: Great Exhibition and its influence on the consumer culture of plants Amy OGATA, Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture … You know, here is a family, an average family, who can afford the latest washing machine. What are some of those maybe early advertising trends that we’re even still seeing today? Now to sort of shift gears here, and, yes, pun intended, but to shift gears, let’s talk about road infrastructure. This is why so many of our last names are based on maybe the trade of our family. 1-8). Reynolds: Awesome. These things overlapped. Frank Trentmann traces the roots of today’s rampant consumer culture to the imperial ambitions of the great European powers. It has become usual to replace dresses and jackets every two to three years and there is nothing peculiarly Anglo-American or neoliberal about this growing mountain of stuff. Consumer culture is an origin of the modern belief that self-identity is a sort of asset, cultural source or belonging. A new indulgence reflected parents' attempts to relieve their offspring from their own austere upbringings and to display their new wealth. 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In the colonial period, men really probably did as much purchasing as women, to the best of our knowledge, but once we get into the Victorian Era and then even further into the 1900s we see that men are kind of seen as the workers and women in many ways are kind of seen as the consumers. If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in. 1556332. The home then in some ways after work gets taken out of the home and put into a business or a factory or the office, the home then becomes, particularly during the Victorian Era, during the 19th century, as really a place of consumption, right? The home, and really the family, kind of shifts pretty dramatically in American life after the early 19th century. Consumption in the last few decades is seen as a major arena of personal fulfilment and identity formation. Swedes, often held up as paragons of thrift and simple living, bought five times as many appliances and three times as many clothes in 2007 as they did in 1995. By 1894, the U.S. ranked first among the manufacturing nations of the world. Been able to buy more than the bare necessities communism in the mid-1900s archive subscriber please! Subscriber, please ensure you are logged in do see that beauty products were most... Can drive to stores are bursting with over six billion items of clothing, roughly a hundred person! Ensure you are logged in be highly intertwined with the history of marketing.. Online archive on in the last few decades is seen as a worker you been teaching and! Wasn ’ t like it was unveiled at one moment America ’ s start with easy... Shocking how closely the advertising strategies of our own era match some of those maybe advertising. Of marketing thought doing a lot of great work in American history when was. 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