The objective of this course is for students to explore the historical genesis of consumer culture in contemporary North America, different theoretical approaches to the study of consumer culture, and a series of substantive topics in the sociology of consumptionculture. The course will be taught through an intersectional lens. This means that students will be asked to think about how ideas about race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, and size shape and are shaped by consumption practices.
Course topics include: cultural appropriation; "gangsta" rap; beauty ideologies; reality TV; the War on Terror; global philanthropy; "buying pink"; and consumer solidarity movements. We will use films, blogs, social media, and scholarly texts to explore these and many other examples.