Commodity Culture and Social Class in Dublin 1850-1916
This book examines the history of commodity culture in Dublin between the end of the Famine and the 1916 Rising. When Dublin staged the Irish Industrial Exhibition in 1853, it became the first city in the world to copy the international 'Great Exhibition' at the Crystal Palace in London. In the same year, one of the world's first purpose-built department stores opened on Sackville Street in the city center. The development of department stores and 'great exhibitions' in Dublin both reflected and informed the rise of the urban middle classes and modern consumer culture. Linked to the development of mass-produced goods, the spread of urban rail and tram systems, and the expansion of the middle-class suburbs, commodity culture in Dublin grew rapidly throughout the 19th century. The book charts that growth, as well as the changing conceptions of shopping as a social or political practice. It also examines the experiences of Dublin shop workers, including their working conditions, their social and political activities, and the advent of the 'shop girl.'
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