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Italian and Italian American Studies

Italian Women's Experiences with American Consumer Culture, 1945–1975

The Italian Mrs. Consumer

Authors: Harris, Jessica L.

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  • Focuses on the intersection of Italian women and American consumerism, using memoirs and oral histories of Italian women to understand and highlight how women’s social and cultural lives were affected by American mass consumer culture
  • Examines multiple areas of American consumer cultural influence, from women’s magazines to hygiene products, to illustrate the breadth of American female consumer culture’s presence in post-war Italy
  • Appeals to scholars of modern Italian studies, modern European history, US history, and Women’s and Gender studies
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-47825-4
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About this book

This book analyzes the spread of American female consumer culture to Italy and its influence on Italian women in the postwar and Cold War periods, eras marked by the political, economic, social, and cultural battle between the United States and Soviet Union. Focusing on various aspects of this culture—beauty and hygiene products, refrigerators, and department stores, as well as shopping and magazine models—the book examines the reasons for and the methods of American female consumer culture’s arrival in Italy, the democratic, consumer capitalist messages its products sought to “sell” to Italian women, and how Italian women themselves reacted to this new cultural presence in their everyday lives. Did Italian women become the American Mrs. Consumer? As such, the book illustrates how the modern, consuming American woman became a significant figure not only in Italy’s postwar recovery and transformation, but also in the international and domestic cultural and social contests for the hearts and minds of Italian women.

About the authors

Jessica L. Harris is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the History Department of Allegheny College, USA, and will be joining St. John's University as Assistant Professor of History. She is a scholar of Modern Italy, Black Europe, 20th century U.S. and the World, and African American History. Jessica has held fellowships at the University of Toronto, Canada and Oxford University, UK. Her work has appeared in Modern Italy, Imago. Studi di cinema e media, and Carte Italiane.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introduction: Italy and the Arrival of Mrs. Consumer

    Pages 1-23

    Harris, Jessica L.

  • How to Read like Mrs. Consumer: Modernizing and Americanizing the Mondadori Publishing Company’s Magazine Division

    Pages 27-50

    Harris, Jessica L.

  • How to Shop and Dress like Mrs. Consumer: Rebuilding La Rinascente the American Way

    Pages 51-86

    Harris, Jessica L.

  • How to Shop, Store, and Cook Food like Mrs. Consumer: The Refrigerator, Women, and the Italian Home

    Pages 89-125

    Harris, Jessica L.

  • How to Be Beautiful like Mrs. Consumer: American Beauty and Italian Women

    Pages 127-161

    Harris, Jessica L.

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-47825-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-47824-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Italian Women's Experiences with American Consumer Culture, 1945–1975
Book Subtitle
The Italian Mrs. Consumer
Authors
Series Title
Italian and Italian American Studies
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-47825-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-47825-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-47824-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 235
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations, 11 illustrations in colour
Topics

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