Consumption Intensified

Consumption Intensified

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Consumption Intensified examines how self-identified middle class Brazilians in SApo Paulo redefined their class during Brazila€™s economic crisis of 1981a€“1994. With inflation soaring to an astounding 2700 percent, their consumption practices intensified, not only in relation to the national crisis but also to the expanding global consumer culture. Drawing on her observations of everyday practices and on representations of the middle class in popular culture, anthropologist Maureen Oa€™Dougherty explores both the logic and incoherence of middle- to upper-middle-class Brazilian life. With the supports of middle-class living threateneda€”job security, quality education, home ownership, savings, ease of consumptiona€”the means and meaning of a€œmiddle classa€ were thrown into question. The sector thus redefined itself through both class- and race-based claims of moral and cultural superiority and through privileged consumption, a definition the media underscored by continually addressing middle-class Brazilians as consumersa€”or rather, as consumers denied. In these times, adults became more flexible in employment, and put stakes in their childrena€™s expensive private education. They engaged in elaborate comparison shopping, stockpiling of goods, and financial strategizing. Ongoing desire for distinction and a€œfirst- worlda€ modernity prompted these Brazilians to buy foreign goods through contraband, thereby defying state protectionist policy. Discontented with the constraints of the national economy, they welcomed neoliberalism. By uncovering connections between culture and politics, Oa€™Dougherty complicates understandings of the middle class as a social group and category. Illuminating the intricate relation between identity and local and global consumption, her work will be welcomed by students and scholars in anthropology and Latin American studies, and those interested in consumption, popular culture, politics, and globalization.... (published in Florida), which she subscribed to, featuring romantic turn-of-the- century photography of home interiors. ... a home, Nicole was nonetheless able to a#39;a#39;reminiscea#39;a#39; freely and fondly, from her small, dank apartment in Santa CecAslia, anbsp;...

Title:Consumption Intensified
Author:Maureen O'Dougherty
Publisher:Duke University Press - 2002-01-28


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