Category Archives: Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities

History 88 The Social History of Consumption, Spring 2008

Here’s the current draft of a course I’ve been teaching here pretty much since I arrived. Spruced up here and there, but this syllabus tends to be one of the most architecturally stable of my courses. One thing I always … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities | 11 Comments

Hiroo Onoda: The Toys and Cartoons Edition

The historian Gary Cross published an editorial on toys, collecting and commercialism in the New York Times this weekend. Cross’ scholarly work is very good. I’ve cited it, read it, and assigned it. But he’s also a dues-paying signatory to … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities, Popular Culture | 28 Comments

Slippery and Sticky

It’s summer, so I’m trying to make a dent in a big pile of books sitting by my desk. One of the first I’ve tackled is Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities, The Mixed-Up Bookshelves | 10 Comments

Online Review Systems and the Service Economy

I’ve already had a couple of recommendations to look at Angie’s List and Checkbook Magazine since posting earlier today about my homeowner blues. There have been some interesting discussions about Angie’s List in the past six months, particularly at Greg … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities, Domestic Life, Information Technology and Information Literacy | 11 Comments

Scarcity and Consumer Panic

I didn’t bother preordering the World of Warcraft expansion, figuring that there’s going to be a zillion of the things around today. So this morning I stop by the store to pick one up. There’s a couple of guys picking … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities | 2 Comments

Interpretation is the Antibody

Just caught an entry at BoingBoing about an accusation that the graphics card manufacture nVidia has been seeding online forums with people paid to endorse or recommend their products. The prospect of such marketing alarms many people. I have no … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities | 6 Comments