This book offers a genealogical account of the rise of consumer capitalism, tracing its origins in America between 1880 and 1930 and explaining how it emerged to become the dominant form of social organization of our time. Asking how it was that we came to be consumers who live in societies that revolve around an ever-spinning circle of production and consumption, not only of goods, but also of events, experiences, emotions and relations, The Rise of Consumer Capitalism in America presents an extensive analysis of primary sources to demonstrate the conditions and forces from which consumer capitalism emerged and became victorious. Employing a Weberian approach that brings liminality to the fore as a master concept to make sense of historical change, the author links an in-depth empirical investigation to supple sociological theorizing to show how the encirclement of all aspects of life by the logic of consumer capitalism was a time-bound historical creation rather than a necessary one. A fascinating study of the appearance and triumph of the "ideology" of our age, this book will appeal to scholars of social and anthropological theory, historical sociology, cultural history and American studies.
- consumer capitalism