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.
Taylor, Janelle S Rutgers University Press, 2004 Library of Congress HQ759.C7253 2004 | Dewey Decimal 306.8743
Consuming Motherhood addresses the provocative question of how motherhood and consumption—as ideologies and as patterns of social action—mutually shape and constitute each other in contemporary North American and European social life. Ideologically, motherhood and consumption are often constructed in opposition to each other, with motherhood standing in as a naturalized social relation that is thought to be uniquely free of the calculating instrumentality that dominates commercial relations. Yet, in social life, motherhood and consumption are inseparable. Whether shopping for children’s clothing or childbirth services, or making decisions about adopting children, becoming a mother (and maternal practice more generally) is deeply influenced by consumption. How can the relationship between motherhood and consumption be revealed, and critically analyzed? Consuming Motherhood brings together a group of sociologists, anthropologists, and religious studies scholars to address this question through carefully grounded ethnographic studies. This insightful book reveals how mothers negotiate the contradictory forces that position them as both immune from and the target of consumerist tendencies in contemporary global society.
Hemmed in by "women's work" much less than has been thought,
women in the late 1800s and early 1900s were the primary entrepreneurs
in the millinery and dressmaking trades. The Female Economy explores that lost world of women's dominance,
showing how independent, often ambitious businesswomen and the sometimes
imperious consumers they served gradually vanished from the scene as custom
production gave way to a largely unskilled modern garment industry controlled
by men. Wendy Gamber helps overturn the portrait of wage-earning women
as docile souls who would find fulfillment only in marriage and motherhood.
She combines labor history, women's history, business history, and the
history of technology while exploring topics as wide-ranging as the history
of pattern-making and the relationship between entrepreneurship and marriage. A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, edited by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz, and in the series Women in American History, edited by Anne Firor Scott, Nancy A. Hewitt, and Stephanie Shaw
During the 1920s and 1930s, in cities from Beijing to Bombay, Tokyo to Berlin, Johannesburg to New York, the Modern Girl made her sometimes flashy, always fashionable appearance in city streets and cafes, in films, advertisements, and illustrated magazines. Modern Girls wore sexy clothes and high heels; they applied lipstick and other cosmetics. Dressed in provocative attire and in hot pursuit of romantic love, Modern Girls appeared on the surface to disregard the prescribed roles of dutiful daughter, wife, and mother. Contemporaries debated whether the Modern Girl was looking for sexual, economic, or political emancipation, or whether she was little more than an image, a hollow product of the emerging global commodity culture. The contributors to this collection track the Modern Girl as she emerged as a global phenomenon in the interwar period.
Scholars of history, women’s studies, literature, and cultural studies follow the Modern Girl around the world, analyzing her manifestations in Germany, Australia, China, Japan, France, India, the United States, Russia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Along the way, they demonstrate how the economic structures and cultural flows that shaped a particular form of modern femininity crossed national and imperial boundaries. In so doing, they highlight the gendered dynamics of interwar processes of racial formation, showing how images and ideas of the Modern Girl were used to shore up or critique nationalist and imperial agendas. A mix of collaborative and individually authored chapters, the volume concludes with commentaries by Kathy Peiss, Miriam Silverberg, and Timothy Burke.
Contributors: Davarian L. Baldwin, Tani E. Barlow, Timothy Burke, Liz Conor, Madeleine Yue Dong, Anne E. Gorsuch, Ruri Ito, Kathy Peiss, Uta G. Poiger, Priti Ramamurthy, Mary Louise Roberts, Barbara Sato, Miriam Silverberg, Lynn M. Thomas, Alys Eve Weinbaum
In Sentimental Materialism Lori Merish considers the intricate relationship between consumption and womanhood in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Taking as her starting point a diversity of cultural artifacts—from domestic fiction and philosophical treatises to advice literature and cigars—Merish explores the symbolic functions they served and finds that consumption evolved into a form of personal expressiveness that indicated not only a woman’s wealth and taste but also her race, class, morality, and civic values. The discursive production of this new subjectivity—the feminine consumer—was remarkably influential, helping to shape American capitalism, culture, and nation building.
The phenomenon of female consumption was capitalism’s complement to male production: It created what Merish calls the “Other Protestant Ethic,”a feminine and sentimental counterpart to Max Weber’s ethic of hard work, economic rationality, and self-control. In addition, driven by the culture’s effort to civilize the “cannibalistic” practices of ethnic, class, and national otherness, appropriate female consumerism, marked by taste and refinement, identified certain women and their families as proper citizens of the United States. The public nature of consumption, however, had curiously conflicting effects: While the achievement of cultured material circumstances facilitated women’s civic agency, it also reinforced stereotypes of domestic womanhood.
Sentimental Materialism’s inquiry into middle-class consumption and accompanying ideals of womanhood will appeal to readers in a variety of disciplines, including American studies, cultural studies, feminist theory, and cultural history.
Popular culture assumes that women are born to shop and that cities invite their trade. But downtowns were not always welcoming to women. Emily Remus turns to Chicago at the turn of the last century to chronicle an unheralded revolution in women’s rights that took place not at the ballot box but in the streets and stores of the business district.