Readings & Course Schedule

Required books (available at the Rutgers Bookstore and on reserve at Alexander Library):

  • The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader, Joseph Turow & Matthew Mcallister (eds.), New York and London: Routledge 2009
  • Additional course readings are available on Sakai and on the course blog

**All reading should be done prior to our class meeting unless otherwise specified.**

September 4, 2012
First day of class – overview of course and introduction activities

September 6, 2012
Introduction to course blog and ‘Becoming Digital Historians’ class project
Read:

  1. [Sakai and Course Blog] ‘School Words vs. Reality‘ – Ira Shor & Paulo Freire
  2. [Course Blog] Rutgers Consumer Society  https://rutgersconsumersociety.wordpress.com

September 11, 2012
Introduction to doing digital historical research about consumerism: ‘Shopping to Survive – a 9/11 case study’
Read:

  1. [Course Blog] ‘Becoming Digital Historians’ assignment instructions AND resources links available at https://rutgersconsumersociety.wordpress.com/assignments/becoming-digital-historians/
  2. [Text Book] 18. ‘Selling Democracy: Consumer Culture and Citizenship in the Wake of September 11’ – Greg Dickinson
  3. [Sakai and Course Blog] ‘Morality and Merchandise: Vendors, Visitors and Police at New York City’s Ground Zero’ – Molly Hurly & Jame Trimarco

September 13, 2012
Early History of Consumerism I
Read:

  1. [Textbook] Advertising: The Magic System – Raymond Williams. Also available here.
  2. [Textbook] The Alien Past: Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective – Susan Strasser

September 18, 2012
Early History of Consumerism II
Read:

  1. [Sakai and Course Blog] Organizing Chaos from Propaganda– Edward Bernays
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog]What’s Wrong with the PR Industry – Kate Evans and CorporateWatch

September 20, 2012
Person, Place or Thing: Early History of Consumerism

Person Edward Bernays
Place Madison Avenue (1920s)
Thing Women’s cigarettes (1920s)

September 25, 2012
The Rise of the Culture Industry
Read:

  1. [Course blog and online] Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer (1944) “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” read in particular pps. 2, 6, 11, 18-19. Available at
  2. [Course blog and online] Introduction to Adorno and his key ideas.
  3. [Course Blog]  Depression America and its Films readings from digital historyAlison Piatt and PBS

September 27, 2012
Person, Place or Thing: The Rise of the Culture Industry

Person Theodore Adorno
Place Hollywood (1930s to 1940s)
Thing Hollywood Musical (1930s)

October 2 & Oct 4, 2012
Assignment – PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE CENTURY OF THE SELF
Watch: Century of the Self Episode 1 – Happiness Machines & Episode 2 – The Engineering of Consent

** Century of the Self Reflection Assignment Due Friday 5pm by email as WORD DOC**

October 9, 2012
Consumerism in Post War America
Read:

  1. [Sakai and Course Blog] Elaine Tyler Moore ‘The Commodity Gap: Consumerism and the Modern Home’ in Lawrence B. Glickman Consumer Society in American History: A Reader, pp. 298-315.
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog] Shelley Nickles. ‘More Is Better: Mass Consumption, Gender, and Class Identity in Postwar AmericaAmerican Quarterly Vol. 54, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 581-622

 
October 11, 2012
Person, Place or Thing: Consumerism in Post War America

Person William Levitt
Place Suburbs (1950s)
Thing Car advertisements (1950s)

October 16, 2012
Postmodern Consumption
Read:

  1. [Textbook] Gary S. Cross – A New Consumerism, 1960-1980
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog ] Firat, A. et al. ‘Marketing in a Postmodern WorldEuropean Journal of Marketing 29: 1, 40-56.

Plus In-class Readings to Print:

  • (short excerpt in class – bring text) Umberto Eco – Travels in Hyperreality, pp. 43-48
  • (short excerpt in class – bring text) Jean Beaudrillard – Simulations

October 18, 2012
Person, Place or Thing: Postmodern Consumer

Person Jean Beaudrillard
Place Disneyland
Thing ‘This is Not a Pipe’

October 23, 2012
Gender/Race/Class in American Media & Consumer Society I
Case Study: Selling Authenticity in African American Culture
Read:

  1. [Textbook] 16. The Spectacular Consumption of “True” African American Culture: “Whassup” with the Budweiser Guys?
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog] David Crockett. ‘Marketing blackness : How advertisers use race to sell productsJournal of Consumer Culture 2008 8: 245-268

October 25, 2012
Person, Place or Thing: Selling Authenticity in African American Culture

Place BET (Black Entertainment Television)

**CHANGES MADE DUE TO UNIVERSITY CLOSURE**

October 30, 2012 CANCELLED
Gender/Race/Class in American Media & Consumer Society II
Case Study: Consuming Gender at Halloween
In Class Screening: HIMYM Slutty Pumpkin e1s6
Read:

  1.  [Sakai and Course Blog] Stacey Levinson, Stacey Mack, Dan Reinhardt, and Helen Suarez, Grace Yeh (1992) ,”Halloween as a Consumption Experience“, in Advances in Consumer Research Volume 19, eds. John F. Sherry, Jr. and Brian Sternthal, Advances in Consumer Research Volume 19 : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 219-228. Also available at http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/view-conference-proceedings.aspx?Id=7300
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog] Gil, R. ‘Empowerment/Sexism: Figuring Female Sexual Agency in Contemporary AdvertisingFeminism & Psychology February 2008 18: 35-60

November 1, 2012 CANCELLED

November 6, 2012 *Catch up Blog Post Presentations*

Person The ‘slutty pumpkin’
Place Halloween Party
Thing Halloween
Beats by Dre 
Mona Scott Young

November 8, 2012  *Case Study Topics Due*

  • Catch Up Blog Posts
  •  Bring Case Study proposals to class printed out

November 13, 2012 **Case Study Blog Presentations**

Presenter Topic
 Josh Monsanto
 Priyanka Shopping
Isaac Generics
Farida Beauty
Albert Automobiles
Kate Bachelor lifestyle

 

November 15, 2012 **Case Study Blog Presentations**

Presenter Topic
 Neil Green
 Chris facebook
 Henry movies
 Christina iphone
 Erin harry potter
 Carl computers

November 20, 2012 *Annotated Bibliography Due* 

Presenter Topic
 Zach  mac fanboy
 Brooke  connectivity
 Anthony
 Jesse
 Michelle

 

November 22, 2012 *No Class – Thanksgiving*

November 27, 2012  Consumer Society & Hurricane Sandy case study – Readings TBC

November 29, 2012

  • Film Screening: TBC

December 4, 2012 Consumer Society & Hurricane Sandy case study – Readings TBC

December 6, 2012 *Drafts Due for In-class Peer Review*  

December 11, 2012 *Final Paper Due*
**Last Class**

Additional Readings 

Futures of Consumption
Read:

  1. [Textbook] 27. Advertising at the End of the Apocalypse – Sut Jhally
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog] “What Consumer Culture Will Look Like In 2020 (And How Brands Can Adapt)” Co.exist – Ariel Schwartz

[Sakai and Course Blog] The McDonaldization of Culture – George RitzerPrecarious Labor & The McDonaldization of America
Read:

  1. [Sakai and Course Blog] Bryant Simon (2008). ‘Consuming Lattes and Labor, or Working at Starbucks‘. International Labor and Working-Class History, 74 , pp 193-211

Green Consumerisms
Read:

  1. [Sakai and Course Blog] Barry Smart. 2010. ‘Green and Sustainable Alternatives’ in Consumer Society: critical issues and environmental consequences, pp. 200-225.
  2. [Sakai and Course Blog] Gibson, Chris, Lesley Head, Nick Gill, and Gordon Waitt. 2011. “Climate change and household dynamics: beyond consumption, unbounding sustainability.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 36, no. 1: 3-8.

Debt Culture and Shopping
Case Study: Black Friday
Read:

  1. Robert J. Samuelson. ‘Shop til We Drop?’ Wilson Quarterly 28 no1 Wint 2004, pp. 22-29
  2. Simpson, L. et al. An Analysis of Consumer Behavior on Black FridayAmerican International Journal of Contemporary Research Vol. 1 No.1; July 2011pp. 1-5

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