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Lecture

HIS310H Lecture Feb 4.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS102Y1
Professor
Steve Penfold
Semester
Spring

Description
HIS310H Lecture Feb 4/2014 Consumption in Depression and War • Depression and Consumption o Dust Bowl o Hobos, hobo jungles o Bennett Buggies/Hoover Wagons o The average American is earning less, and therefore buying less  New car sales dropped drastically   Movie attendance dropped as well, etc. o Some aspects of consumer culture intensified during great depression  Few cars sold, but gas sales increase by 16% o Connection between consumption and sociability  o Intensified commercialization  o Consumer culture by the 1930s is too persuasive to be destroyed by the great depression  It does not crack the foundation of consumer culture, they switch what they’re consuming,  but they don’t stop consuming, the foundation remains intact   Economic calamity shows the strength of consumer culture • The Consumer at War o The depression ends with the war o Rationing o Do it yourself o Victory gardens o “Black Markets”  Growth of underground economics  o There is full employment, either have gone off to war or have jobs in the factories o They all have higher incomes o More people are entering the middle ground of economic spending, the mass consumer market o The war is good new for the consumer economic, but the war is also characterized by shortage  and scarcity  There are few products available to spend ones income on   This is because many factories convert to produce war materials   Things like cars, washing machines, nylons, etc. became hard to find because there were  no longer factories that made them    Governments ration products for consumers, milk, sugar, gas, etc. are rationed  o Consumers do more saving, they buy war bonds o There is an enormous pool of savings just waiting to be spent o Consumption is postponed, not abandoned  o Consumers have to intensify their household labor to get by  o Increased consumption  Retail consumption increases expenentionally   Even tho goods are scarce, the average person is consuming/eating, etc. more   The ration level is actually higher than most depression levels  • The Politics of Consumption o A
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