Livin the American Dream

This week was all about “cool”. On Monday, we watched the “Merchants of Cool” PBS video. I think I can sum up this experience by the comment Irene made to me as we were leaving class after the video. She gave me a blank stare and said “I want a lobotomy after watching that video”. […]

Barbie Girl

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After this week’s discussion on Ann DuCille’s article, “Toy Theory: Black Barbie and the Deep Play of Difference”, I have been fascinated with learning more about the warped sense of femininity Barbie conveys to young girls. I was on the Toys “R” Us website, searching for the latest addition to the Barbie merchandise craze. Let […]

We spent last week examining the relationship between women and consumerism. The two articles we read explored the types of products that have an influence over the female psyche and why there are gendered spheres of influence in our consumer society. The first article we discussed was Janice Radway’s “The Act of Reading the Romance: […]

I’d like to start this reflection with a scene I observed at the Spotsylvania Town Center Mall on Friday afternoon. A young father was walking through the mall with his four children: one little girl in a stroller, one older girl of about 7, and two older boys who were about 9. One of the […]

Last week, we focused on shopping malls and how they have transformed the American consumer society. We started off the week by watching a Hillsdale Shopping Mall promotional video from 1957 entitled: “Shopping Can Be Fun”. Although it seemed a little goofy, many of the gimmicks used to attract shoppers to the Hillsdale Mall are […]

Last week in class we finished our discussion of Isenberg’s Downtown America. We started off the week discussing urban renewal. The goal of this movement was to update downtown in order to attract the white, middle-class housewife to do her shopping there. The Housing Act of 1954’s objective was to tear down housing in the […]

Two weeks ago, the New York Yankees played their last game in the House that Ruth Built – the original Yankee Stadium on 161 Street in the Bronx. On that Sunday night, the fans didn’t care so much that the Yanks beat the Baltimore Orioles, or that a postseason in New York was virtually impossible. […]