Sex of Things Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective

ISBN-10: 0520201973

ISBN-13: 9780520201972

Edition: 1996

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Description: This volume brings together the most innovative historical work on the conjoined themes of gender and consumption. In thirteen pioneering essays, some of the most important voices in the field consider how Western societies think about and use goods, how goods shape female, as well as male, identities, how labor in the family came to be divided between a male breadwinner and a female consumer, and how fashion and cosmetics shape women's notions of themselves and the society in which they live. Together these essays represent the state of the art in research and writing about the development of modern consumption practices, gender roles, and the sexual division of labor in both the United States and Europe. Covering a period of two centuries, the essays range from Marie Antoinette's Paris to the burgeoning cosmetics culture of mid-century America. They deal with topics such as blue-collar workers' survival strategies in the interwar years, the anxieties of working-class consumers, and the efforts of the state to define women's--especially wives' and mothers'--consumer identity. Generously illustrated, this volume also includes extensive introductions and a comprehensive annotated bibliography. Drawing on social, economic, and art history as well as cultural studies, it provides a rich context for the current discourse around consumption, particularly in relation to feminist discussions of gender.

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Book details

List price: $33.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 8/2/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 444
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.826
Language: English

Victoria de Grazia is Professor of History and James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization, Columbia University.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Coquettes and Grisettes: Women Buying and Selling in Ancien Regime Paris
The Making of the Self-Made Man: Class, Clothing, and English Masculinity, 1688-1832
The Gendering of Consumer Practices in Nineteenth-Century France
The Other Side of Venus: The Visual Economy of Feminine Display
"A Husband and His Wife's Dresses": Consumer Credit and the Debtor Family in England, 1861-1914
Male Providerhood and the Public Purse: Anti-Desertion Reform in the Progressive Era
Living on the Margin: Working-Class Marriages and Family Survival Strategies in the United States, 1919-1941
The Technological Revolution That Never Was: Gender, Class, and the Diffusion of Household Appliances in Interwar England
Food Scarcity and the Empowerment of the Female Consumer in World War I Berlin
Making Up, Making Over: Cosmetics, Consumer Culture, and Women's Identity
Nationalizing Women: The Competition between Fascist and Commercial Cultural Models in Mussolini's Italy
Deviant Pleasures? Women, Melodrama, and Consumer Nationalism in West Germany
Soft Sell: Marketing Rhetoric in Feminist Criticism
Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective: A Selected Bibliography
Notes on Contributors
Art Credits
Index
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