Tagged with consumer culture

Featherstone (1990) Perspectives on Consumer Culture


Link to Oxford Bibliography >>  | Argument – Our relationship to material culture has sociological significance and consumption can not be viewed as a simple by-product of production.  Consumer culture has been studied in three key ways 1.) “the production of consumption”, 2.) “modes of consumption” and 3.) “the emotional and aesthetic pleasures” of consumption.  … Continue reading

Smythe (1981) On the Audience Commodity and its Work


Same argument as Blindspot article: “readers and audience members of advertising-supported media mass media are a commodity produced and sold to advertisers because they perform a valuable service for the advertisers” (Smythe 1981, 8). While we generally consider work to involve physical labor, Smythe explains that within information capitalism: “much of the work that audience … Continue reading

Thiel-Stern, Shayla (2014) From the Dance Hall to Facebook

Thiel-Stern, Shayla (2014) From the Dance Hall to Facebook


ARGUMENT Society punishes girls who don’t properly perform femininity based on dominant cultural ideologies and expectations. Thiel-Stern’s research highlights the particular threat posed by teen girls who emerge from the “safety” of the domestic space to partake in public leisure. Whether drinking in public dance halls, screaming at an Elvis concert, or posting selfies to … Continue reading

Smith, Jacob. (2010) “The Books that Sing”


ARGUMENT Scholars generally consider children to be secondary “bit players” within consumer culture until the advent of television (Schor 2005).  Smith’s case study of children’s phonographs in the 1890-1930 period demonstrates that phonograph producers were “quick to recognize the importance of the child audience” (93). SUMMARY Children were approached indirectly (through parents/mothers) and directly in … Continue reading

Schrum, Kelly. (2004) Some Wore Bobby Sox

Schrum, Kelly. (2004) Some Wore Bobby Sox


ARGUMENT Most cultural histories of teenagers focus on delinquent (white) boys in the 1950s as the first “teenage” culture.  However, Schrum argues that girls were the original teenagers.  Adolescent girls developed their own unique tastes and styles in fashion, beauty, movies, and music beginning as early as the 1920s and used consumer culture to create … Continue reading

Garvey, Ellen Gruber. (1996) The Adman in the Parlor

Garvey, Ellen Gruber. (1996) The Adman in the Parlor


ARGUMENT In the 1880s, advertising became a part of daily life and it socialized women and children (mostly girls) into adopting the new consumer culture. SUMMARY In The Adman in the Parlour, Garvey (1996) examines socio-cultural changes in the late nineteenth century to better understand the origins of women’s consumer culture. While most historians point … Continue reading