Rural Patterns of Consumption

Date:         Fri, 4 Mar 1994 11:18:23 -0600                                    
Reply-To:     H-Rural Rural & Agricultural History discussion                   
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              <H-RURAL@UICVM.BITNET>                                            
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              <H-RURAL@UICVM.BITNET>                                            
From:         "Jim Oberly, History Dept.,                                       
              U of Wisc-Eau Claire" <JOBERLY@CNSVAX.UWEC.EDU>                   
Subject:      Rural Patterns of Consumption <was RE:  Hello from                
                Alan Berolzheimer>                                              

[From: IN%"HBARRON%HMCVAX.Ac.hmc.edu@UICVM.UIC.EDU" 4-MAR-1994 11:05:20.17 [To: IN%"H-RURAL@UICVM.BITNET" "H-Rural Rural & Agricultural History discussion list" [Subj: RE: Hello from Alan Berolzheimer

Hello H-Rural,

This is a response to Alan Berolzheimer's recent message. I have also been working on rural patterns of consumption during the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The numerous sociological surveys are a useful and abundant source, and I think that I have looked at most of them for the Northeast and the Midwest through the 1930s (my current study cuts off in 1930, but late 1920s surveys continued to be published throughout the following decade). In some ways, the richest source was a set of manuscript survey schedules fron a study done by the Dept. of Home Ec. at Cornell. These provided an actual link between consumption behavior and other attributes on the level of the individual farm family.

So much for sources. My basic argument is that rural northerners negotiated the emerging consumer culture in ways that were consistent with more traditional agrarian values. This process varied by gender and by age, of course, and even though rural folk bought into consumer culture in ways that continued older precepts and attitudes, those new interactions had consequences that they did not anticipate and sometimes led in other directions. I think that this is an extremely valuable focus for research, and I would welcome any exchange or discussion of these issues.

Hal S. Barron HBARRON@HMCVAX.CLAREMONT.EDU



Date:         Sat, 5 Mar 1994 10:11:50 -0600                                    
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From:         "Jim Oberly, History Dept.,                                       
              U of Wisc-Eau Claire" <JOBERLY@CNSVAX.UWEC.EDU>                   
Subject:      Re: Rural Patterns of Consumption                                 

[From: IN%"deal%oswego.Oswego.EDU@UICVM.UIC.EDU" 4-MAR-1994 21:42:21.40 [To: IN%"H-RURAL%UICVM.BITNET@uga.cc.uga.edu" [Subj: RE: Rural Patterns of Consumption <was RE: Hello from Alan Berolzheimer>

Hal Barron:

You might look, for comparative purposes, at the material on consumption and mass culture in Chicago's working class neighborhoods in the 1920s, as analyzed in Lizabeth Cohen's *Making a New Deal*. After all, many of these Chicagoans were fairly recent migrants from one countryside or another.

Doug Deal History / SUNY-Oswego



Date:         Sun, 6 Mar 1994 15:19:31 -0600                                    
Reply-To:     H-Rural Rural & Agricultural History discussion                   
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              <H-RURAL@UICVM.BITNET>                                            
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              <H-RURAL@UICVM.BITNET>                                            
From:         "Jim Oberly, History Dept.,                                       
              U of Wisc-Eau Claire" <JOBERLY@CNSVAX.UWEC.EDU>                   
Subject:      Re: Rural Patterns of Consumption                                 

[From: IN%"HBARRON%HMCVAX.Ac.hmc.edu@UICVM.UIC.EDU" 5-MAR-1994 12:40:21.75 [To: IN%"H-RURAL@UICVM.BITNET" "H-Rural Rural & Agricultural History discussion list" [Subj: RE: Rural Patterns of Consumption

Doug,

Actually, Liz Cohen's book was the inspiration for my current analysis in terms of the complexities of negotiating a new consumer culture during the 1920s. You do raise a good point about the connections between rural patterns and urban ones, especially among recent in-migrants to the city who came from the farm. Except for southern blacks, however, most of Cohen's Chicagoans were European immigrants. Still, the question of changes among WASP farm-to-city types remains, and it is a fscinating one.

Hal S. Barron


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Posted: 14 Jul 1994

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