*Readings come from the required texts (Lury, Consumer Culture, 2nd ed.Banet-Weiser, Authentic) and from the provided PDFs.

 

Week 1 (9/4/13): Introductions

Assignments

  • Mini blog post 1 (due on wordpress by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 2: Consumption and meaning

Readings

9/9/13
Celia Lury, “Introduction: What Is Consumer Culture?”
Celia Lury, “Chapter 1: Material Culture and Consumer Culture”
Michel De Certeau, Practice of Everyday Life, “General Introduction”

9/11/13
Nestor Garcia Canclini, “Consumption is Good for Thinking”
Nestor Garcia Canclini, “Identities as a Multimedia Spectacle”

Assignments

  • Mini blog post 2 (due on wordpress by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 3: The Economics of Consumption

Readings

9/16/13
Lury, “Chapter 2: Exchanging Things: The Economy and Culture” (focus on pp.37-40, skim the rest)
Lury, “Chapter 4: Capital, Class, and Consumer Culture” (only 80-90, and 102-107)

9/18/13
Karl Marx, “The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof” (319-329)
Michael Storper, “Lived Effects of the Contemporary Economy: Globalization, Inequality, and Consumer Society”

Assignments

  • Mini blog post 3 (due on wordpress by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 4: Lifestyle & Cultural Capital

Readings

9/23/13
Lury, “Chapter 4: Capital, Class, and Consumer Culture” (only 90-102)
Mike Featherstone, “Lifestyle and Consumer Culture”

9/25/13
Douglas B. Holt, “Does Cultural Capital Structure American Consumption?”
Richard Peterson & Roger Kern, “Changing Highbrow Taste: From Snob to Omnivore”

Assignments

  • Mini blog post 4 (due on wordpress by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 5: Branding

Readings

9/30/13
Lury, “Chapter 6: Brands: Markets, Media, and Movement”
Adam Arvidsson, “Brands: A Critical Perspective”

10/2/13
Alison Hearn, “Meat, Mask, Burden: Probing the Contours of the Branded ‘Self'”
Albert Muniz & Thomas O’Guinn, “Brand Community”

Assignments 

  • Haul video / Store tour (due on wordpress by midnight before next Wednesday’s class)

Week 6: Branding, continued

Readings

10/7/13
Banet-Weiser, “Introduction: Branding the Authentic”
Banet-Weiser, “Chapter 1: Branding Consumer Citizens”

10/9/13
none

Assignments

  • none

Week 7: Midterm week

10/14/13 – no class (Fall Break)

10/16/13 – Midterm

Week 8: Consumption and femininity

Readings

10/21/13
Lury, “Chapter 5: Circuits of Culture and Economy: Gender, Race and Reflexivity” (only pp. 122-136)
Jane Marcellus, “It’s Up to the Women”

10/23/13 (class cancelled but still do the reading)
Banet-Weiser, “Chapter 2: Branding the Postfeminist Self: The Labor of Femininity”

Assignments 

  • Brand project: Initial proposal (due via email by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 9: Consuming nation / consuming difference

Readings

10/28/13
Howard Campbell, “Chicano Lite: Mexican-American Consumer Culture on the Border”

10/30/13
Lury, “Chapter 5: Circuits of Culture and Economy: Gender, Race and Reflexivity” (only pp. 108-122)
Patrick Grzanka & Justin Maher,  “Different, Like Everyone Else: Stuff White People Like and the Marketplace of Diversity”

Assignments

  • none

Week 10: Consuming politics / consuming religion

Readings

11/4/13
Sarah Banet-Weiser, “Chapter 4: Branding Politics: Shopping for Change”

11/6/13
Howard Rheingold, “Look Who’s Talking”
Sarah Banet-Weiser, “Chapter 5: Branding Religion: I’m Like Totally Saved” (pp. 165-210)

Assignments

  • Brand project: Addressing consumers (due via email by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 11: Consuming food / consuming environmentalism

Readings

11/11/13
Josee Johnston, Michelle Szabo, and Alexandra Rodney, “Good Food Good People”

11/13/13
John Connolly and Andrea Prothero, “Green Consumption: Life-Politics, Risk and Contradictions”
Michael Maniates, “Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?”

Assignments

  • none

Week 12: Alternative and resistant consumption

Readings

11/18/13
Allison Glock, “Back to Basics: Living with ‘Voluntary Simplicity'”

11/20/13
No readings – keep doing your project research!

Assignments 

  • Brand project: Brand community (due via email by midnight before next Monday’s class)

Week 13: Anti-consumption

Readings

11/25/13
Laura Portwood-Stacer, “Anti-consumption as Tactical Resistance”

11/27/13 – No class

Assignments

  • none

Week 14: Consumption and the university

Readings

12/2/13
Alison Hearn, “‘Through the Looking Glass’: The Promotional University 2.0”
Nick Pinto, “NYU Students: Debt and Debtor”

12/4/13
Andrew Ross, “Are Student Loans Immoral?”

Assignments

  • Brand project: Contexts – bring hard copy of full draft (all sections) to class on Monday, 12/9/13

Week 15: Wrap-up

no readings; informal presentations + feedback given on drafts

Final version of Brand Project must be uploaded to WordPress and revision statement emailed to Prof P-S by 2pm on Monday, December 16.