04-29-08 The Making of Consumer Culture 1910s

04-29-08 The Making of Consumer Culture 1910s - The Making...

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The Making of Consumer Culture 1910s – 1920s I. Intro II. The Automobile Industry – Fordism III. Advertising IV. Revolution in Manners and Morals: Youth Culture For midterm: Think thematically, use the lectures as guides to integrate reading. Puritans who settled the New England colonies believed God gave each of us a calling and for people to fulfill the calling was to fulfill God’s will. Puritans in celebrating work, in a way was like the British aristocratic to leisure. The celebration of work was against the aristocratic principle. Puritans thought people who worked only for the profit was influenced by evil; and success at one’s calling was a sign of God’s grace. If someone successes as a farmer was God’s grace. By the 2 nd quarter of 19 th century, middle class Americans were glorifying God’s will in a different way. They started to grow a sense of self- discipline in good quality. They celebrated this self-discipline in many aspects, especially in saving. Saving was seen as a moral value. People that saved money and shone away from drinking were thought to be successful. Sexual discipline was important. The spending of sexual energy reduced people’s energy in work. This discipline also celebrated women’s maternity; as mothers they demanded society’s respect. Self-discipline, thrift, hard work and maternity became dominant in a society that was going from artisan to factories. By the 1850’s many working Americans sought to temperance, because they thought that was easier to find work. In late 19 th century and 20th century Americans started to find meaning and purpose in leisure instead of work. Department stores encouraged women to ignore their discipline and spend impulsively for their personal pleasure and immediate gratification. The transformation of consumerism pulled Americans away from the culture of discipline to the culture that celebrates instant gratification. By the 2
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This note was uploaded on 10/14/2008 for the course HIUS 131 taught by Professor Kleiner during the Spring '07 term at UCSD.

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04-29-08 The Making of Consumer Culture 1910s - The Making...

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