University of Pennsylvania Press

Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture

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Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture

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Food Chains

From Farmyard to Shopping Cart

Edited by Warren Belasco and Roger Horowitz

In recent years, the integrity of food production and distribution has become an issue of wide social concern. The media frequently report on cases of food contamination as well as on the risks of hormones and cloning. Journalists, documentary filmmakers, and activists have had their say, but until now a survey of the latest research on the history of the modern food-provisioning system—the network that connects farms and fields to supermarkets and the dining table—has been unavailable. In Food Chains, Warren Belasco and Roger Horowitz present a collection of fascinating case studies that reveal the historical underpinnings and institutional arrangements that compose this system.

The dozen essays in Food Chains range widely in subject, from the pig, poultry, and seafood industries to the origins of the shopping cart. The book examines what it took to put ice in nineteenth-century refrigerators, why Soviet citizens could buy ice cream whenever they wanted, what made Mexican food popular in France, and why Americans turned to commercial pet food in place of table scraps for their dogs and cats. Food Chains goes behind the grocery shelves, explaining why Americans in the early twentieth century preferred to buy bread rather than make it and how Southerners learned to like self-serve shopping. Taken together, these essays demonstrate the value of a historical perspective on the modern food-provisioning system.

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Producing Fashion

Commerce, Culture, and Consumers

Edited by Regina Lee Blaszczyk

How has Paris, the world's fashion capital, influenced Milan, New York, and Tokyo? When did the Marlboro Man become a symbol of American masculinity? Why do Americans love to dress down in high-tech Lycra fabrics, while they wax nostalgic for quaint, old-fashioned Victorian cottages?

Fashion icons and failures have long captivated the general public, but few scholars have examined the historical role of business and commerce in creating the international market for style goods. Producing Fashion is a groundbreaking collection of original essays that shows how economic institutions in Europe and North America laid the foundation for the global fashion system and sustained it commercially through the mechanisms of advertising, licensing, marketing, publishing, and retailing.

The collection reveals how public and private institutions—from government censors in imperial Russia to large corporations in the United States—worked to shape fashion, style, and taste with varying degrees of success. Fourteen contributors draw on original research and fresh insight into the producers of fashion—advertising agents, architects, corporate executives, department stores, designers, editors, government officials, hairdressers, haute couturiers, and Web retailers—in their bid for influence, acclaim, and shoppers' dollars.

Producing Fashion looks to the past, revealing the rationale behind style choices, while explaining how the interplay of custom, invented traditions, and sales imperatives continue to drive innovation in the fashion industries.

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Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Edited by David Suisman and Susan Strasser

During the twentieth century sound underwent a dramatic transformation as new technologies and social practices challenged conventional aural experience. As a result, sound functioned as a means to exert social, cultural, and political power in unprecedented and unexpected ways. The fleeting nature of sound has long made it a difficult topic for historical study, but innovative scholars have recently begun to analyze the sonic traces of the past using innovative approaches. Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction investigates sound as part of the social construction of historical experience and as an element of the sensory relationship people have to the world, showing how hearing and listening can inform people's feelings, ideas, decisions, and actions.

The essays in Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction uncover the varying dimensions of sound in twentieth-century history. Together they connect a host of disparate concerns, from issues of gender and technology to contests over intellectual property and government regulation. Topics covered range from debates over listening practices and good citizenship in the 1930s, to Tokyo Rose and Axis radio propaganda during World War II, to CB-radio culture on the freeways of Los Angeles in the 1970s. These and other studies reveal the contingent nature of aural experience and demonstrate how a better grasp of the culture of sound can enhance our understanding of the past.

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