Special Offerings explore topics in U.S. history. Topics may include U.S. Environmental History, U.S. History through Text, and U.S. Economic History. May be repeated if topics differ.
Summer 2023 Topic:
Section 001 Consumer Culture
This course traces the emergence and development of a consumer oriented culture in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on the tension between the freedoms and pleasures promised by consumerism and evolving dynamics of power and control in corporate society. Topics to be explored include the development of early institutions of mass consumption including department stores and advertising agencies, the role of public policy in shaping and sustaining consumerism, and the ways people of various racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds have used consumption to signal their political demands and articulate social identities.