The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader

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What is the relationship between gender and consumerism? Jennifer Scanlon gathers a collection of readings and archival materials to explore the multiple and contradictory ways in which women and men consume. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural in scope, The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader introduces the reader to some of the most compelling issues and arguments in this growing field of study. In questioning traditional ways of analyzing the relationships between gender and consumer culture, these essays analyze the liberatory and oppressive nature of consumer culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. The scholars gathered here look at the gendered relationship between the home and consumer culture, individual and group identity through purchasing, the supply side of consumer culture, and the ways in which consumers embrace, resist, and manipulate the messages and the activities of consumer culture. Topics range from white middle-class female shoplifters to the gendered depiction of Native Americans in nineteenth-century advertising, from gay men's acquisition of domestic space in early twentieth-century New York to black and Latino men's cultural resistance through dress. Archival materials link the essays in each section, creating a further historical context, and providing a connection between the readings and larger questions and issues currently being debated about gender and consumer culture. Contributors include Andrew Heinze, Erika Rappaport, George Chauncey, Steven M. Gelber, Jeffrey Steele, Ann McClintock, Robert E. Weems, Jr., Lillian Faderman, Malcolm Gladwell, Jennifer Scanlon, Lizabeth Cohen, Jane Bryce, Susan J. Douglas, Kenon Breazeale, Kathy Peiss, Elaine S. Abelson, Natasha B. Barnes, Danae Clark, Stuart Cosgrove.