Worlds of Consumption

Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s

Marketing between Expert Planning and Consumer Responsiveness

Editors: Logemann, Jan, Cross, Gary, Köhler, Ingo (Eds.)

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  • Reassesses the concept of consumer engineering in a comparative, transnational framework, moving beyond the familiar narrative of consumer manipulation
  • Considers the history of consumer engineering in the context of mid-century developments such as social engineering, modernist planning and design, and the professionalization of various fields
  • Appeals to scholars of marketing and business history, consumer culture, social engineering, social movements, transnational history, and the history of capitalism
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eBook 83,29 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14564-4
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14563-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

In the middle of the twentieth century, a new class of marketing expert emerged beyond the familiar ad men of Madison Avenue. Working as commercial designers, consumer psychologists, sales managers, and market researchers, these professionals were self-defined “consumer engineers,” and their rise heralded a new era of marketing. To what extent did these efforts to engineer consumers shape consumption practices? And to what extent was the phenomenon itself a product of broader social and cultural forces? This collection considers consumer engineering in the context of the longer history of transatlantic marketing. Contributors offer case studies on the roles of individual consumer engineers on both sides of the Atlantic, the impact of such marketing practices on European economies during World War II and after, and the conflicted relationship between consumer activists and the ideas of consumer engineering. By connecting consumer engineering to a web of social processes in the twentieth century, this volume contributes to a reassessment of consumer history more broadly.

About the authors

Jan Logemann is Assistant Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Göttingen, Germany.
Gary Cross is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Pennsylvania State University, USA.
Ingo Köhler is Assistant Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Göttingen, Germany.

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • Beyond the Mad Men: Consumer Engineering and the Rise of Marketing Management, 1920s–1970s

    Pages 1-17

    Logemann, Jan (et al.)

  • Professional Marketing as “Consumer Engineering”? A Concept in Transatlantic Perspective

    Pages 21-45

    Logemann, Jan

  • What Does “Fast Capitalism” Mean for Consumers? Examples of Consumer Engineering in the United States

    Pages 47-62

    Cross, Gary

  • A Theoretical Exploration of Consumer Engineering: Implicit Contracts and Market Making

    Pages 63-75

    Godley, Andrew (et al.)

  • Shopping Malls and Social Democracy: Victor Gruen’s Postwar Campaign for Conscientious Consumption in American Suburbia

    Pages 79-98

    Malherek, Joseph

Buy this book

eBook 83,29 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14564-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14563-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s
Book Subtitle
Marketing between Expert Planning and Consumer Responsiveness
Editors
  • Jan Logemann
  • Gary Cross
  • Ingo Köhler
Series Title
Worlds of Consumption
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-14564-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-14564-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-14563-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 296
Number of Illustrations
16 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour
Topics