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Carried Away: the Invention of Modern Shopping: Book by Rachel Bowlby

Carried Away: the Invention of Modern Shopping

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ISBN: 9780231122740    Publisher: Columbia University Press Year of publishing: 2001     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 256        Language: English
Asserting that a history of shopping was, until recently, a history of women, Rachel Bowlby trains her eye on the evolution of the modern shopper. She uses a compelling blend of history, literary analysis,...Read more
Asserting that a history of shopping was, until recently, a history of women, Rachel Bowlby trains her eye on the evolution of the modern shopper. She uses a compelling blend of history, literary analysis, and cultural criticism to explore the rise of department stores and supermarkets of the United States, France, and Great Britain. Bowlby recalls the fascinating early days of these institutions. In the mid-nineteenth century, when department stores first developed, their fabulous new buildings brought middle-class women into town, where they could indulge in what was then a new activity: a day's shopping. The stores offered luxury, flattering women into believing that they belonged in a beautiful environment. It is here, Bowlby argues, that the idea of the modern woman's passion for fashion and shopping took hold. Developed in the twentieth century, supermarkets took an opposite tack: they offered functionality, standardization, and cheapness.
However, Bowlby claims, despite their differences, the two institutions belong together as emblematic of their respective eras' social developments: the department store with the growth of cities, the supermarket with the proliferation of suburbs. With their dazzling lights and displays, both supermarkets and department stores were thought to produce in females an enhanced or trance-like state of mind. For readers who regard shopping as a spectator or participatory sport, and for those who wish to understand our culture and the psychology of women, or those who simply enjoy a witty, literate romp through the aisles, Carried Away is the perfect purchase.
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About the author: Rachel Bowlby
Rachel Bowlby teaches English, French, and American studies at the University of York. She has written Just Looking: Consumer Culture in Dreiser, Gissing,... Read more
Rachel Bowlby teaches English, French, and American studies at the University of York. She has written Just Looking: Consumer Culture in Dreiser, Gissing, and Zola; Still Crazy After All These Years: Women, Writing, and Psychoanalysis; and Shopping with Freud.
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Review:
Carried Away is in some ways a rare opportunity to go on an intellectual shopping spree, a guided tour of consumerism with a premier cultural critic. Times Literary Supplement [An] intriguing...Read more
Carried Away is in some ways a rare opportunity to go on an intellectual shopping spree, a guided tour of consumerism with a premier cultural critic. Times Literary Supplement [An] intriguing exploration of shoppers and shops from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Kirkus Reviews A virtuoso cultural history of 20th-century shopping... Bowlby's sensitivity to shopping's confusing alliance of exhiliration, zombification, larks and boredom prevents her from resorting to easy generalisation. Independent on Sunday Full of evocative and entertaining material. New Statesman Bowlby has scoured the archives of marketing history to write a lively and thought-provoking study of 20th-century shopping. Financial Times [An] engrossing history of postindustrial consumerism... This deft mixture of sociology, cultural criticism and literary scholarship is an important contribution to feminist and cultural studies. Publishers Weekly
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