Liberal Arts and Management Program | Global Consumerism and Modernity
L416 | 3125 | Liz McMahon


This course will explore how western notions of consumerism have
become a measuring stick of modernity for the rest of the world.  The
course will examine modern consumerism and consumption from its
beginning in 17th century Europe to current developments.  We will
expand on questions of globalization such as: Can we argue for a
truly global economy? And what does that mean?  Is the West still
driving consumerism?  How do we measure consumption?  And more
importantly how do we connect that to definitions of modernity? We
will use a thematic approach, using consumerism to view global
approaches to the issues of identity formation, gender, food, ethics,
advertising, the environment, technology, politics and leisure.
While the course will look at the expansion of western ideas of
consumption, we will analyze the ways in which these ideas are used
in new contexts around the global.

This is a senior level seminar, thus it will be discussion driven
rather than a lecture course.  There will be weekly readings, which
all students will be expected to complete.  Each week a group of
students will prepare discussion questions for the class and will
lead discussion.