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Consumers, Consumerism and the Development of Mass Culture

in Twentieth Century Europe and North America

3/6/9 ECTS
Seminar: MEK Zentralmodul // KGMOE Politische Ordnung - Wirtschaft - Gesellschaft  // MES
Block, 9.00 - 18.00 Uhr, Ort: HG 162, Veranstaltungsbeginn: 26.06.2015

One of the most important developments in the past two hundred years of European and North American history has been the slow rise of mass consumer societies. Commodities and cultural practices which were still luxuries available only to the upper middle classes as late as the 1920s—automobiles or foreign travel, for example--have now become part of the everyday lives of millions of people in Europe and North America. The ability to ensure that their citizens enjoy prosperity and a high standard of living has become a key concern of political parties, governments and entire political regimes. This course examines the emergence of modern consumer societies in Europe and North America, and the relationship of distinctive historical “regimes of consumption” to democracy, fascism, and communism in the twentieth century.
Literatur: Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire. America’s Advance through 20th-Century Europe (Cambridge,Mass. and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005) [please get a copy of this book].
[other readings will be available on-line]
Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: Good oral and written command of English.
Hinweise zur Veranstaltung: The number of participants is limited (30-35 students). Please register for this class on moodle from 26.05.2015!
Hinweise zum Blockseminar: 26.06., 27.06., 28.06., 9.00-18.00 Uhr
Leistungsnachweis: Referat, Hausarbeit
Sprache: English