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HIST 121     Consumer Culture and Its Discontents, 17th - 20th Centuries  (4)

This course examines the development of a consumer culture from the seventeenth to the late twentieth centuries in Europe and around the globe. "Consumerism" is used to encompass a constellation of historical changes, including the shift from a mercantilistic to free market system of capitalistic exchange, the advent of mass production, and innovations in retailing and marketing. The course analyzes how the increasing organization of life around seemingly infinite flows and accumulations of commodities affected political, social and cultural life as well as individual behavior and value systems. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.