This article is concerned with the way in which indigenous place-based knowledge and understandings, in a time of global climate change, have the potential to challenge researchers to self-reflexively shift the focus of their research toward those technological and consumer practices that are the cultural context of our research. After reviewing some literature on the emergence of self-reflexivity in research, the authors offer two case studies from their respective environmental education and anthropological research with northern indigenous cultures that clarifies the nature of a self-reflexive turn in place-based climate research and education. The global interconnections between northern warming and consumer culture-and its relation to everexpanding technological systems-are considered by following the critical insights of place-based knowledge. We conclude by examining the possibility that relocalizing our research, teaching, and ways of living in consumer culture are central to a sustainable future, and if so, the knowledge and understandings of current place-based peoples will be vital to envisioning such a cultural transformation of our globalizing system.
Timothy B. Leduc and Susan A Crate
In the following article, I sketch two major pressures driving this film's peculiar recuperation of traditional representations of femininity alongside the rhetoric of equal rights. The first is the development of a Cold War politics of consumption, which, as recent research has shown, was crucial for national and cultural identity formation in the period of reconstruction after World War II. If, in the 20th century, political citizenship was "recast as consumer behavior," the postwar context of divided Germany offers a particularly powerful example of the complex imbrications of ideological and material cultures. As Ina Merkel's work amply illustrates, the competitive discourse of East versus West shaped GDR consumer culture from the outset. In addition, the implicit tension between the austere ideal of a new socialist producer nation and its population's unbroken, modern drive toward consumption appears to be at least superficially resolved along gender lines. Following prewar cultural formations, consumers were gendered as female, in contrast with male-identified producers. Thus, women could be mobilized as symbolic warriors along the battlefront between two economic systems. Frauenschicksale refers us repeatedly to the precise terms of this conflict.
Throughout these shows, a value system is constructed that runs counter to the apparent, stated aim of normalizing the everyday experience of eastern Germans. GDR consumer goods are brought into the mainstream, only to be reconfined to the periphery as "strange" and nonwestern. In so doing, the programs invite former GDR citizens to join a club of western German consumers and to laugh along with them at their bizarre, ridiculous past. Consequently, while Ostalgie might not be what it used to be, the power dynamic between east and west remains the same. In these shows the GDR is no longer presented as a "Stasi state." Instead, through Ostalgie, it becomes a world of curious consumer products. Nevertheless, even if the gasps of horror and disapproval of earlier representations are replaced now by curiosity and amusement, these recent television shows still furnish us with a representation of the east from which the Federal Republic can distance itself, thereby finding further validation as the better German state (which of course it is). But it is also a state that, for many indignant eastern Germans at least, still fails to engage honestly and in a differentiated manner with their preunification experience.
This article examines the liberalization of public services promoted by the Monti government with a law to which it attached great importance, arguing that liberalization would bring significant improvements to the economy and to consumers within a few years. In fact, the innovative capacity of the decree has been significantly diminished due to the amendments adopted in Parliament in response to efforts to maintain the status quo made by interest groups threatened by liberalization. This outcome is explained by the lack of cohesion of the parliamentary majority that supported the caretaker government and by its susceptibility to the influence of organized interests.
Automobility in the United Kingdom in the period before the First World War moved from irrelevance and ridicule to a normalized leisure activity. With particular reference to the magazines Punch and Motor, this article argues that this process was hastened by middle- and lower-middle-class consumers' receptivity to the automobile and motorcycle, particularly in the period after 1905 when a tolerable mechanical reliability had been achieved. By buying second-hand, and taking short trips and camping weekends, the self-driving, car-owning “modest motorist“ undermined the formal, club-based network of elite motorists and created their own distinct cultural model.
Bicycle-related Professions in Shanghai, 1897–1949
The bicycle so thoroughly transformed transportation in China that the country was known as “the land of cyclists” by the late twentieth century. Concerning the global popularization of industrial products, past research mainly focused on the interaction between the introduced commodities and their nonWestern consumers. In order to take the analysis of the modern transformation beyond Western objects and passive receivers, this article explores how Chinese people came to make a living from bicycles. This investigation traces the manifold transitions of the Chinese bicycle business in Shanghai during the tumultuous half-century from 1897 to 1949.
Göran Therborn and Sonia Therborn
‘Social quality’ is not a common term in Sweden and its sister notion ‘quality of life’ is used mainly with respect to the conditions of particular individuals and rarely, if ever, in social analysis. Swedish social statistics and social studies focus on ‘levels of living’ or ‘living conditions’. The perceived subjectivity connotations of ‘quality’ in this context have not been attractive. On the other hand, Swedish social research and policy evaluation have de facto been very much concerned with measuring what may properly be called qualitative dimensions of living conditions and correspondingly less interested in, for example, the possession of consumer goods.
The Santa Claus figure, the Christmas tree and decorations that are associated with this Christian holiday have been adopted by liberal consumers in Turkey, a Muslim country. These Turks envisage Santa Claus, in his trademark red suit, as a gift bearer on the occasion of New Year's Eve. This societal development has consolidated the cultural distance not only between the upper and lower classes but also between the established middle class and the flourishing, new conservative middle class. In protest, the religiously conservative have produced sombre 'alternative gatherings' to remind Turks of their Muslim heritage.
Richard Vahrenkamp, The German Autobahn 1920-1945: Hafraba Visions and Mega Projects Peter Merriman
Alexandra Boutros and Will Straw, Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture Fabian Kröger
Ted Conover, Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today Rudi Volti
Pradeep Thakur, Tata Nano: The People's Car Thomas Birtchnell
Emmanuela Scarpellini, Material Nation: A Consumer's History of Modern Italy Massimo Moraglio
Kuntala lahiri-Dutt and David J. Williams, Moving Pictures: Rickshaw Art of Bangladesh Tracy Nichols Busch
Patrick Laviolette, Extreme Landscapes of Leisure: Not a Hap-Hazardous Sport Carroll Pursell
The Rotterdam Bombardment in Local Memory Culture and Education from 1980 to 2015
This article analyses three local educational projects about the Nazi bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940, all of which took place from 1980 to the present day in the context of the dynamic memory culture of the bombardment. These three contexts testify to a process by which memory, increasingly derived from authentic locations and objects instead of individual memories, is put to use in education. Moreover, increased awareness of the disappearance of eyewitness generations means that young people are becoming key consumers and auxiliary producers of memory.