SEAS 455 - Topics in Southeast Asian Studies
Section: 001 Culture and Consumption
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Southeast Asian Studies (SEAS)
Department: LSA II: SE Asian Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Junior, Senior, graduate students.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

In this course, students study why individuals desire the things they do and how consumption affects the identities and the inequalities among persons, places, and things. What are the social origins and orientations of consumption? The roots of one’s taste for hip-hop or baroque violin, the Vespa or the Hummer, beer or wine, Black Barbie and white Barbie are socially influenced rather than exclusively dependent on the individual. Students will explore such questions as: What does it mean to sell sex or to market ethnicity? Is fair trade possible in a materially unequal world? Why do some objects, serving the same function and made of the same materials, sell less well than others? Is it “simply” a matter of taste? If so, from where does taste come? What are the processes that generate equalities and differences in our tastes? If taste is not inborn but generated, what happens to the authenticity of local cultures and local practices in global markets? (25 percent of the course will be dedicated to case studies on culture, branding, and consumption in Southeast Asia.) Intended audience: Undergraduates with an interest in social science and the relationship of consumption to sociology. Students interested in Southeast Asia

SEAS 455 - Topics in Southeast Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Note: Grad Students - Contact Gigi Gates - for permission to enroll.
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