The Creation of the American mass market and consumer culture

GRIN Verlag
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Essay from the year 2004 in the subject Communications - Journalism, Journalism Professions, grade: 1,0, Indiana University (School of Journalism), course: Journalism J650, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Robert A. Gross begins his article Markets, Magazines, and More with reference to a quote from Ellen Gruber Garvey’s book The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture which summarizes quite well the essential reason behind many developments that led to the creation of an American mass market. “ men make magazines? To sell ad. space in them. What’s a magazine? So many pages of ad. space.” According to Gross magazines were not so much about content as they were about the advertisements in them. Of course, magazines had to be sold in order for people to read the ads, but the content of the magazine was not designed to improve the reader’s life but to get him interested in the product and eventually make him buy it. Many scholars such as William Leach see this development in the American media landscape from a purely informational and even missionary character to a consumption and marketing based arena as a major move away from the traditional values of media outlets such as the newspaper and others. Leach evaluates this change in his book The Land of Desire where he takes a close look at the changes within the American culture and market. He argues that in the decades after the Civil War “American capitalism began to produce a distinct culture, unconnected to traditional family or community values, to religion in any conventional sense, or to political democracy. It was a secular business and market-oriented culture [...].” He traces this change from the time of the Protestant settlers and early American community life, where the ultimate fulfilment was salvation, spiritual blessings for all and an end to poverty, to the 1900s, where those religious ideals were increasingly transformed and commercialized into personal satisfaction and individual pleasures and profit. With the appearance of “new pleasure palaces” such as department stores, theaters, restaurants, hotels, dance halls, and amusement parks Americans experienced the joy of personal satisfaction. Whereas in the past, Leach writes, “values had taken their character from ... the church; now they were deriving it from business and consumption.” This democratization of individual desire of the post Civil War culture is probably one of the “most notable contributions to modern society” according to Leach.
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GRIN Verlag
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Jan 12, 2007
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Social Science / Media Studies
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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: USA, grade: 1,3, Indiana University (Political Science Department), course: American Political Traditions, 13 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The Monroe Doctrine will be 200 years old in 2023 and the world of today could not be more different than from the conditions of the world in which president James Monroe gave his speech, which would become so famous and significant for the direction of U.S. foreign policy. Yet the policies of the Monroe Doctrine are still very much alive. Especially after president Theodore Roosevelt announced the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904 America’s path of becoming a major player in world affairs with arbitrary power was paved for them. The argument of this paper is that the document known today as the Monroe Doctrine started out as a simple but efficient and bold proclamation, which dealt with the problems of its time and has been transformed into a tool for global involvement. Originally it attempts to keep Europeans out of the New World but it does not attack the already existing colonies in the Western Hemisphere. Over time various presidents altered this original phrasing. One of the more important examples of this tradition is Theodore Roosevelt’s Corollary to the doctrine, which will serve as an illustration to outline the main argument. Roosevelt turned the meaning of the doctrine around and went from noninterference to active responsibility by the United States to intervene anywhere in the Western Hemisphere where chaos and violence ruled. Still limited on the Western Hemisphere and whatever was defined to fit into this category Roosevelt’s definition of the “international police power” soon became just that. The United States would enter two World Wars on the basic justification that they were restoring order and justice and were only acting out of self-defense reasons. After World War II nothing of what James Monroe had once proclaimed as essential to American progress was left. The defining characteristic of Monroe’s old doctrine-the non-interference with European affairs phrase-had been shattered to pieces. The Cold War forced the United States to become even more dedicated to European matters and even after the Cold War the U.S. or a multilateral coalition under U.S. leadership now dealt with new threats to European peace. With the post 9/11 era all dreams about isolation from Europe were forever destroyed. The War on Terrorism is the latest effort of the United States to change the conditions of countries all around the world.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, Indiana University (History Department), course: History H 650 ' U.S. Foreign Relations in the American Century', language: English, abstract: Ever since the United States ended the Second World War in 1945 every administration has found itself involved more and more in the affairs of the Middle East. Over the decades this engagement in the orient has changed due to the new realities of the post-World War era and the evolving relations between the USA and Arab nations. Today in 2004, no other foreign policy matter could be more crucial than the issue of United States foreign policy toward the Middle East. After the horrific and tragic terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11th, 2001 the relevance of the issue gained a dramatic new dimension. For decades the US-Arab relation has been the focus of recent scholars, especially the never-ending Israel-Palestinian conflict has had its share of the research that has been conducted. In the first years of the twenty-first century the urgent need to comprehend US-Arab relations is understandably dominant. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks a wave of historical and scientific works were published. Most of the historians were still in shock from the events that had occurred and therefore not willing to reflect upon past experiences with Middle Eastern nations. But eventually the pressing question arose that puzzled so many minds: Why do they hate us? A project by many respectable scholars involved a website devoted to the American values where they posted several essays in trying to answer that question. By raising it, they automatically came across the path of self-definition and self-defense. As the Bush Administration articulated its first response to the attacks of 9/11 with the retaliatory strike against Afghanistan, the scholars of defended the action by publishing a kind of declaration of self-defense in order to protect the values of America and the values of the free world. In it, they clearly distanced themselves and America from barbaric terrorist attacks and declared that they were meant to destroy American values which led them to answer the next fundamental question: Who are we then? In the end, this proclamation served as a reassurance of the existing belief of what the USA is NOT according to the scholars, which is totalitarian, oppressive, hegemonic and barbaric.
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