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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

18 out of 120

A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America

Lizabeth Cohen
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/383439 236-239 First published online: 1 June 2004
  • Sociological Theories/Analysis
  • Social Class
  • Consumer Welfare/Quality of Life
  • Cultural Theories and Analysis
  • Communication

Historians and social scientists analyzing the contemporary world unfortunately have too little contact and hence miss some of the ways that their interests overlap and the research of one field might benefit another. I am, therefore, extremely grateful that the Journal of Consumer Research has invited me to share with its readers an overview of my recent research on the political and social impact of the flourishing of mass consumption on twentieth-century America. What follows is a summary of my major arguments, enough to entice you, I hope, to read A Consumers' Republic (Cohen 2003), in which I elaborate on these themes. Although this essay is by necessity schematic, the book itself is filled with extensive historical evidence and is heavily illustrated with period images. In tracing the growing importance of mass consumption to the American economy, polity, culture, and social landscape from the 1920s to the present, I in many ways establish the historical context for your research into contemporary consumer behavior and markets. I hope you will …

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