front cover of Come Buy, Come Buy
Come Buy, Come Buy
Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women’s Writing
Krista Lysack
Ohio University Press, 2008

From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption. Come Buy, Come Buy considers representations of the female shopper in British women’s writing and demonstrates how women’s shopping practices are materialized as forms of narrative, poetic, and cultural inscription, showing how women writers emphasize consumerism as productive of pleasure rather than the condition of seduction or loss. Krista Lysack examines works by Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Michael Field, as well as the suffragette newspaper Votes for Women, in order to challenge the dominant construction of Victorian femininity as characterized by self-renunciation and the regulation of appetite.

Come Buy, Come Buy considers not only literary works, but also a variety of archival sources (shopping guides, women’s fashion magazines, household management guides, newspapers, and advertisements) and cultural practices (department store shopping, shoplifting and kleptomania, domestic economy, and suffragette shopkeeping). With this wealth of sources, Lysack traces a genealogy of the woman shopper from dissident domestic spender to aesthetic connoisseur, from curious shop-gazer to political radical.


front cover of The Dialectics of Shopping
The Dialectics of Shopping
Daniel Miller
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Shopping is generally considered to be a pleasurable activity. But in reality it can often be complicated and frustrating. Daniel Miller explores the many contradictions faced by shoppers on a typical street in London, and in the process offers a sophisticated examination of the way we shop, and what it reveals about our relationships to our families and communities, as well as to the environment and the economy as a whole.

Miller's companions are mostly women who confront these contradictions as they shop. They placate their children with items that combine nutrition with taste or usefulness with style. They decide between shopping at the local store or at the impersonal, but less expensive, mall. They tell of their sympathy for environmental concerns but somehow avoid much ethical shopping. They are faced with a selection of shops whose shifts and mergers often reveal extraordinary stories of their own. Filled with entertaining—and thoroughly familiar—stories of shoppers and shops, this book will interest scholars across a broad range of disciplines.

front cover of Race and Retail
Race and Retail
Consumption across the Color Line
Bay, Mia
Rutgers University Press, 2015
Race has long shaped shopping experiences for many Americans. Retail exchanges and establishments have made headlines as flashpoints for conflict not only between blacks and whites, but also between whites, Mexicans, Asian Americans, and a wide variety of other ethnic groups, who have at times found themselves unwelcome at white-owned businesses. 
Race and Retail documents the extent to which retail establishments, both past and present, have often catered to specific ethnic and racial groups. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the original essays collected here explore selling and buying practices of nonwhite populations around the world and the barriers that shape these habits, such as racial discrimination, food deserts, and gentrification. The contributors highlight more contemporary issues by raising questions about how race informs business owners’ ideas about consumer demand, resulting in substandard quality and higher prices for minorities than in predominantly white neighborhoods.  In a wide-ranging exploration of the subject, they also address revitalization and gentrification in South Korean and Latino neighborhoods in California, Arab and Turkish coffeehouses and hookah lounges in South Paterson, New Jersey, and tourist capoeira consumption in Brazil.  
Race and Retail illuminates the complex play of forces at work in racialized retail markets and the everyday impact of those forces on minority consumers. The essays demonstrate how past practice remains in force in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.


front cover of Selling to the Masses
Selling to the Masses
Retailing in Russia, 1880–1930
Marjorie L. Hilton
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012

Marjorie L. Hilton presents a captivating history of consumer culture in Russia from the 1880s to the early 1930s. She highlights the critical role of consumerism as a vehicle for shaping class and gender identities, modernity, urbanism, and as a mechanism of state power in the transition from tsarist autocracy to Soviet socialism.
      Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Russia witnessed a rise in mass production, consumer goods, advertising, and new retail venues such as arcades and department stores. These mirrored similar developments in other European countries and reflected a growing quest for leisure activities, luxuries, and a modern lifestyle. As Hilton reveals, retail commerce played a major role in developing Russian public culture—it affected celebrations of religious holidays, engaged diverse groups of individuals, defined behaviors and rituals of city life, inspired new interpretations of masculinity and femininity, and became a visible symbol of state influence and provision.
      Through monarchies, revolution, civil war, and monumental changes in the political sphere, Russia’s distinctive culture of consumption was contested and recreated. Leaders of all stripes continued to look to the “commerce of exchange” as a key element in appealing to the masses, garnering political support, and promoting a modern nation.
      Hilton follows the evolution of retailing and retailers alike, from crude outdoor stalls to elite establishments; through the competition of private versus state-run stores during the NEP; and finally to a system of total state control, indifferent workers, rationing, and shortages under a consolidating Stalinist state.


front cover of A Shoppers’ Paradise
A Shoppers’ Paradise
How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown
Emily Remus
Harvard University Press, 2019

How women in turn-of-the-century Chicago used their consumer power to challenge male domination of public spaces and stake their own claim to downtown.

Popular culture assumes that women are born to shop and that cities welcome their trade. But for a long time America’s downtowns were hardly welcoming to women. Emily Remus turns to Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century to chronicle a largely unheralded revolution in women’s rights that took place not at the ballot box but in the streets and stores of the business district.

After the city’s Great Fire, Chicago’s downtown rose like a phoenix to become a center of urban capitalism. Moneyed women explored the newly built department stores, theaters, and restaurants that invited their patronage and encouraged them to indulge their fancies. Yet their presence and purchasing power were not universally appreciated. City officials, clergymen, and influential industrialists condemned these women’s conspicuous new habits as they took their place on crowded streets in a business district once dominated by men.

A Shoppers’ Paradise reveals crucial points of conflict as consuming women accessed the city center: the nature of urban commerce, the place of women, the morality of consumer pleasure. The social, economic, and legal clashes that ensued, and their outcome, reshaped the downtown environment for everyone and established women’s new rights to consumption, mobility, and freedom.


front cover of Shopping
Material Culture Perspectives
Deborah C. Andrews
University of Delaware Press, 2015
The degree to which shopping, or, more broadly, consumerism, is both critiqued and defended in American society confirms the role that commercial goods play in our daily lives. This collection of essays provides case studies depicting selected aspects of this engaging activity. The authors include several historians with diverging specialties: an art historian, an anthropologist, an environmental journalist, a geographer and urban planner, and practicing artists. Each author demonstrates how a material culture perspective—a focus on the relationship between people and their things—can illuminate a specific corner of consumption. Connecting the essays are concerns about the spaces in which shopping occurs; about the experience of shopping itself, both individual and social; and about its economic, environmental, and personal downsides. Collectively, these essays demonstrate how a material culture perspective on shopping yields insights into multiple aspects of American culture.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

front cover of Shopping, or The End of Time
Shopping, or The End of Time
Emily Bludworth de Barrios
University of Wisconsin Press, 2022
“I am going to make a poem,” writes Emily Bludworth de Barrios, “As if / I could put beautiful things in a box to keep them there.” With Shopping, or The End of Time she has done that and so much more. These kaleidoscopic images reflect and reverberate across time and space, revealing collisions of identity, motherhood, childhood, houses, shopping malls, industrial canals—the hopes and fears of what we’ve lost and gained over the decades in our mad rush for connection, for ownership, for goods.

A detective’s red thread spiderweb mapping the constellations among parenting, capitalism, aging, and ghosts, this stunning collection is wistful, unmoored, glamorous, and immense. These tour-de-force poems simultaneously capture an impression of emptiness and pleasure, of existing in a liminal space filled with both hollowness and potential. 
Even though we lived at the edge of a great rupture,
It was difficult to tell when the world broke.
—Excerpt from “Ravine”

front cover of Shopping with Allah
Shopping with Allah
Muslim Pilgrimage, Gender and Consumption in a Globalized World
Viola Thimm
University College London, 2023
A study of how the intersection of gender and Islam develops and changes in a pilgrimage-tourism nexus as part of capitalist and halal consumer markets.

Shopping with Allah illustrates the ways in which religion is mobilized in package tourism and how spiritual, economic, and gendered practices are combined in a form of tourism where the goal is not purely leisure but also ethical and spiritual cultivation. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, Thimm sheds light on how Islam and gender frame Malaysian religious tourism and pilgrimage to the Arabian Peninsula and raises many issues that are of great importance beyond these regional contexts.

This book also offers an innovative methodological-analytical toolkit to research mobility and intersectionality across sociogeographic scales. By bringing methodological holism into a fruitful engagement with the antiracist-feminist framework intersectionality, Thimm argues that hierarchical relationships, such as marginalization, power, and empowerment, can shift for an individual or a social group depending upon the social sphere.

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter