Consumption and the World of Goods

Front Cover
John Brewer, Roy Porter
Psychology Press, 1994 - History - 564 pages
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The study of past society in terms of what it consumes rather than what it produces is - relatively speaking - a new development. The focus on consumption changes the whole emphasis and structure of historical enquiry. While human beings usually work within a single trade or industry as producers, as, say, farmers or industrial workers, as consumers they are active in many different markets or networks. And while history written from a production viewpoint has, by chance or design, largely been centred on the work of men, consumption history helps to restore women o the mainstream.
The history of consumption demands a wide range of skills. It calls upon the methods and techniques of many other disciplines, including archaeology, sociology, social and economic history, anthropology and art criticism. But it is not simply a melting-pot of techniques and skills, brought to bear on a past epoch. Its objectives amount to a new description of a past culture in its totality, as perceived through its patterns of consumption in goods and services.
Consumption and the World of Goods is the first of three volumes to examine history from this perspective, and is a unique collaboration between twenty-six leading subject specialists from Europe and North America. The outcome is a new interpretation of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, one that shapes a new historical landscape based on the consumption of goods and services.
  

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Contents

hetween pp 314 and 315
7
consumer culture in historical perspective
19
Understanding traditional and modern patterns of consumption in eighteenth
40
disease of the consumer society?
58
understanding the household
85
1a Indices of agricultural and industrial prices 16601820
88
European consumption and Asian production in the seventeenth and eighteenth
133
Consumption in early modern social thought
162
August 1742
314
b Admiral Vernons attack on Porto Bello drawn from a letter from William
314
Hogarths The Reward of Cruelty 1751
314
numeracy in eighteenthcentury America
320
Pompey aderat
335
la Provenance of mathematical writing in provincial England
366
The book trade in eastern Europe in the seventeenth and early eighteenth
381
news and commerce round eighteenthcentury
393

Changes in English and AngloAmerican consumption from 1550 to 1800
177
The meaning of consumer behaviour in late seventeenth and early eighteenth
206
The production and marketing of populuxe goods in eighteenthcentury Paris
228
interpreting the consumer economy in the eighteenth
249
The changing roles of food in the study of consumption
261
a Lancashire consumer and her possessions
274
meaning and measurement in early modern England
305
mall
314
The business of political enlightenment in France 17701800
412
a materialist approach to French formal gardens
439
the visualization of knowledge from
462
Dutch stilllife paintings and the empire of things
478
Manufacturing consumption and design in eighteenthcentury England
527
INDEX
555
Copyright

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References to this book

The Consuming Body
Pasi Falk
Limited preview - 1994
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About the author (1994)

John Brewer is Director of the Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies and Director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Roy Sydney Porter was born December 31, 1946. He grew up in a south London working class home. He attended Wilson's Grammar School, Camberwell, and won an unheard of scholarship to Cambridge. His starred double first in history at Cambridge University (1968) led to a junior research fellowship at his college, Christ's, followed by a teaching post at Churchill College, Cambridge. His Ph.D. thesis, published as The Making Of Geology (1977), became the first of more than 100 books that he wrote or edited. Porter was a Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Churchill College, Cambridge from 1972 to 1979; Dean from 1977 to 1979; Assistant Lecturer in European History at Cambridge University from 1974 to 1977, Lecturer from 1977 to 1979. He joined the Wellcome Institute fot the History of Medicine in 1979 where he was a Senior Lecturer from 1979 to 1991, a Reader from 1991 to 1993, and finally a Professor in the Social History of Medicine from 1993 to 2001. Porter was Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994, and he was also made an honorary fellow by both the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Roy Porter died March 4, 2002, at the age of 55.

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