Material Culture in Europe and China, 1400-1800: The Rise of Consumerism

St. Martin's Press, 1997 - 279 páginas
Consumerism is increasingly recognized as a key factor in the modern world. The global economy, it has been said, is driven as much by taste as technology. Yet consumerism has seldom been studied as a global overlay or incipient world institution. Often criticized as mere materialism or greed, its intellectual aspects in human rationality and choice have been generally neglected. This book seeks to remedy these oversights in a broad overview of food, dress, shelter, utilities, information and commodity symbolism in Europe and China between 1400 and 1800. Adshead argues that consumerism began in an interaction between Europe and China during the Great Discoveries. A comparison of its subsequent development in both west and east highlights both the unity and diversity of consumerism. What are presented here are less the details of consumption than the patterns of it, and the reasons, conscious and unconscious, for them.

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