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HIST150 The Middle Class and Consumer Society

by: Sarah Foster

HIST150 The Middle Class and Consumer Society History 150

Marketplace > Ball State University > History > History 150 > HIST150 The Middle Class and Consumer Society
Sarah Foster
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

These notes cover The Roman Empire during the Winter 2016 semester at BSU
The West in the World
Dr. Malone
Class Notes
Middle Class, consumer society, Advertising, retail, department store, Bon Marche, selling techniques
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Foster on Wednesday February 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 150 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Malone in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 192 views. For similar materials see The West in the World in History at Ball State University.


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Date Created: 02/24/16
HIST150 The Middle Class and Consumer Society Two major social consequences of industrialization • The rise of the middle class to economic, social, and political power • The emergence of consumer society (late 18 c) New Order – The rise of the middle class • Who belonged? o People envisioned upper-middle, middle-middle, and lower -middle classes o How they earned their living? Performing non-manual labor jobs (industrialist, banker, clerk…) Beginning of the ascendency of the middle class • Consumer society=a society in which the production, sale, and consumption of NON-ESSENTIAL goods has become an important part of social and economic life • Thorstein Veblen coined the term , “Conspicuous consumption” – to describe the habit of middle class citizens Middle-class homes • Displaying items in the home to show off wealth, status, and belonging to the middle class • Having lavish parties and feeding guests to show off wealth Two key components of consumer society • Advertising – developments and trends in Britain o People saw advertising to be suspicious; did not engage if they were a “respectable” company o (TQ) “An Advertiser’s Guide to Publicity” said: “The usefulness and value of most things depends. Not so much on their own nature, as upon the # of people who can be persuaded to desire and use them ” o Professional advertising journals: buyers of the world are middle class people, recognizing that they’re the ones to sell to o Pears soap company: advertising was $400, fifteen years later, $150-200,000 o Sample ads: pictures at home, more visual than words, middle class preferred to live in the suburbs § Ex. Window decoration ad (à) o Use of Queen Victoria’s royal warrant (coat of arms) § If it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for you § Pre curser of the celebrity endorsement • A New Retailing Institution: The Department Store o Fstmed for middle class women to shop o 1 department store opened in Paris by Aristide Boucicaut in 1852—the Bon Marche “The Ladies’ Paradise” o 5 new selling techniques: 5 new selling techniques **** 1. (TQ) Department stores amassed an unprecedented variety of goods under o ne roof. “Universal provider” a. The Bon Marche contained 52 departments 2. Displays – window and interior displays were used to sell goods a. Impulse buyer 3. The price tag – fixed and marked on price tags 4. The sale – huge semi-annual events in January and July 5. The mail order catalog Goods are sold and consumed


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