Commodity Consumption and the Formation of Consumer Culture|
This course investigates the historical development of commodity production and its global expansion since the early modern period. This process can be interrogated from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and through both global and local lenses. This course opens up a conversation between a historical archaeologist and a cultural anthropologist on commodity consumption as a material, social, and cultural process; in so doing we will contrast archaeological and ethnographic approaches. Among the questions we will address are, What makes a thing a commodity, and how did commodity production develop as the dominant form of production and lead to a culture of mass consumption? How have social relations both shaped and been shaped by commodities? How has the proliferation of new spaces of consumption, from markets, to department stores, to Internet shopping, figured into this process? Are there significant differences between the marketing of material and symbolic goods? Throughout, we will emphasize the creative agency of consumers and the continual transformation of things, whether those things were acquired in domestic or global markets. Examples will be drawn from the early modern period to the present.
Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
In this course students will develop skills in interpreting the social meanings of things.
In this course we will analyze the formation of consumers and consumer culture in a wide variety of cultural settings.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (SISP-Anth Conc)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Sidney Mintz, SWEETNESS AND POWER
Robert Foster, COCA-GLOBALIZATION
Daniel Miller, A THEORY OF SHOPPING
Other readings will include selections from Karl Marx, Mary Douglas & Baron Isherwood, Nicholas Thomas, Arjun Appadurai, Pierre Bourdieu, Karen Traber Hansen, Timothy Burke, Igor Kopytoff, William Roseberry, Colin Campbell, and Richard Ohmann
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short (4-5 page) papers.
Final project based on ethnographic or library research on consumption practices.
|Instructor(s): Traube,Elizabeth G. Croucher,Sarah Katharine Times: ..T.R.. 02:40PM-04:00PM; Location: FISK210; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 50||SR major: 2||JR major: 15|| || |
|Seats Available: 7||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 15||SO: 15||FR: X|
|Web Resources: Syllabus |
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 6||1st Ranked: 1||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 1||Unranked: 4|