Le 30 juin 2015, 07:03 dans Humeurs • 0
The Buying and Selling giuseppe zanotti sale of American Holidays
MLA style: "Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays." The Free Library. 1997 Journal of Social History 29 May. (2014). Schmidt begins by recounting briefly the tension between religious festivals and commercial enterprise since the medieval period, demonstrating that many rationalists and entrepreneurs considered holidays to be bad for business. During the nineteenth century, Schmidt argues, all this changed, as merchants, manufacturers, and trade associations realized the potential market for specialized goods that might emerge from holiday observances. As business interests exploited these opportunities, they not only made money, but also "helped lift up and standardize a set of national holiday symbols out of a welter of local, regional, http://www.lhbon.com/giuseppe-zanotti-c-48/ and ethnic traditions." (p. 13) Schmidt uses this transition to explore a variety of fascinating themes: the impact of consumer goods and services on family celebrations; the role of women in the creation of new holiday traditions, and "the complex, hybrid relationship between Christianity and consumer culture a relationship that was, by turns, symbiotic and conflictual, complementary and contested." (p. 14)
Consumer Rites contains extended discussions of four holidays: St. Valentine's Day, Christmas, Easter, and Mother's Day. Business interests revived and transformed an almost forgotten saint's day, for instance, and made the exchange of valentines and candy a standard part of giuseppe zanotti design outlet the American festive calendar by the 1860s. In the process, entrepreneurs feminized the holiday and helped to create "a whole new holiday enterprise, the greeting card industry." (p. 97) Schmidt considers St. Valentine's Day "the harbinger of the new possibilities and strange sardonicism that inhered in allying commerce and celebration, mass production and deeply felt sentiment." (p. 39) His discussion of Christmas bears out this point. Observing Christmas as a familycentered, domestic holiday quieted many Protestant complaints about the Popish character of the festival, and provided a venue for coddling children with presents supposedly delivered by that secularized saint, Santa Claus. Merchants like Philadelphia's John Wanamaker shaped the holiday by using religious images and symbolism as, literally, windowdressing to promote the sale of consumer goods for familyoriented celebrations. Here, too, Schmidt emphasizes the role of gender. As guardians of the Victorian domestic circle, women assumed the responsibility for "making" Christmas, thereby helping to inaugurate the now familiar extended shopping season from Thanksgiving through late December.
Easter presents a similar picture. Consumer Rites chronicles the emergence of Easter as a time for "devout consumption" of floral displays in churches and fashionable clothes for parades. As the nineteenth century progressed, so did the commercialization of Easter. Merchants and manufacturers offered a vast array of knickknacks and candy, often appropriating folk symbols like the rabbit and egg to sell their wares. The theme of commercialization also runs through Schmidt's discussion of Mother's Day, a completely new holiday. Conceived by Anna Jarvis to commemorate her own mother, Mother's Day achieved widespread and enduring popularity through the efforts of the floral industry. Florists and their trade associations saw in Americans' sentimental attachment to their mothers a colossal opportunity to expand sales. Trade groups urged churches and politicians to endorse the holiday to honor American mothers, and those "who issued proclamations at the trade's urging, were made part of a publicity campaign and advertisement for the florists." (p. 265) Schmidt goes on to demonstrate how men's wear manufacturers and retailers recognized the potential of invented holidays as marketing tools and created one of their own: Father's Day. But the story Schmidt tells is more than just a litany of crass commercialization and cynical exploitation. Consumers did not embrace every effort by business to invent new opportunities for sales. Hallmark founder Joyce Hall failed to get Friendship Day off the ground, and Candy Day, a ploy by the confection industry, achieved only moderate success in a later incarnation, Sweetest Day. To understand fully the success of consumerism, Schmidt urges, one must look beyond the "old dualisms" of "agency and determinism, individual consciousness and economic materialism" to a more complex appreciation of the "dense interplay of cultural production and consumption." (p. While documenting the criticism and dissatisfaction evoked by the commercialization of American holidays campaigns to "Keep Christ in Christmas," for example Schmidt also recognizes the symbiotic relationship between religion and commerce, sentiment and salesmanship. John Wanamaker used Christian images to sell goods in his department store, for example, but he also brought Christianity "into the marketplace for praise and homage, and in turn, the Philadelphia store took on a peculiarly hallowed aura." (p. 167) Perhaps most importantly, Schmidt eschews both intellectual hauteur and postmodern skepticism to appreciate the genuine satisfactions Giuseppe Zanotti people experience in celebrations shaped or even created by consumer culture. "Resisting the machinations of merchants," he reminds us, "was not particularly important to most people most of the time. Whatever humbug, exploitation, or imposture resided in modern celebrations (and there was plenty), alienation was only one leitmotif in a larger chorus of affirmation." (p. 302) It is impossible in a brief review to convey the depth or complexity of Schmidt's arguments. Suffice it to say that Consumer Rites brims with valuable insights, and should interest a variety of academic as well as general readers. The book is handsomely produced, admirably written, and copiously illustrated. Schmidt's considerable achievement will set the standard for scholarship on American holidays for some time to come and deserves a wide readership.