ANTHRCUL 328 - Globalizing Consumer Cultures
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
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May not be repeated for credit.
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This course addresses the global spread of forms of consumer culture and their local appropriations, in places as similar and diverse as Hungary, the United States, China, Papua New Guinea, Sweden and Nepal. We will begin with anthropological approaches to consumption: gift exchange and the commodity, commoditization, the body and social/class distinction, as well more recent approaches to modern consumption as a process of materializing social relations. We will also look at the role of advertising, branding and globalizing consumer forms (from Coca-cola to Pokemon), examining local appropriations and the role of translocal commodities, commodified experiences, and consumer practices in (re)defining national identities and citizens as consumers. Throughout, we will be attentive to the phenomenon of globalizing “middle class culture”and its legitimizing discourses, examining how local requirements for social respectability, normalcy and modernity are increasingly defined by the lifestyles of imagined middle class citizens in so-called “first world” countries. Throughout, we will be reflecting on the specific materiality of particular consumer goods and forms, from the modern coffee table to hygiene products in constructing fantasies of global, middle-class belonging. In the process, we will attempt to de-familiarize the American experience.

ANTHRCUL 328 - Globalizing Consumer Cultures
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
WF 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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