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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The historiography of consumer society in the United States has matured in the last decade. As David Steigerwald noted in an influential review essay in 2006, ‘consumer interpretations of American history have come of age’, interpretations that prominently emphasize the politics of consumption. Indeed, Steigerwald made his claim about the state of the field largely on the basis of an analysis of the paradigm-shifting books of T. H. Breen on ‘how consumer politics shaped independence’ (2005) and Lizabeth Cohen on ‘the politics of mass consumption in postwar America’ (2003). This article explores and disaggregates three core elements of consumer politics in America: what it calls consumer activism, the consumer movement, and consumer regimes.

Keywords: United States, consumer politics, consumer activism, consumer movement, consumer regimes, consumption, David Steigerwald, Lizabeth Cohen, T. H. Breen

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