Abstract

After World War II, the United States moved into what historians are now recognizing as a full-blown consumer society. Consumer society carried with it vast cultural changes, including shifts in fundamental values. Not least important were shifts in the practices of thrift, as seen in how Americans regarded personal savings and debt. Traditionally seen as opposites, those two economic behaviors became intertwined in the 1950s, as Americans continued to save, not to accumulate wealth but to spend and often even as they took on consumer debt. Thus, the 1950s were a tipping point between industrial capitalism and consumer capitalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1467-2235
Print ISSN
1467-2227
Pages
pp. 788-815
Launched on MUSE
2008-12-14
Open Access
No
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