By S.A.M. Adshead

ISBN-10: 0312172850

ISBN-13: 9780312172855

ISBN-10: 1349257621

ISBN-13: 9781349257621

ISBN-10: 1349257648

ISBN-13: 9781349257645

ISBN-10: 2072072182

ISBN-13: 9782072072185

This publication reinterprets the increase of consumerism when it comes to interplay among Europe and China 1400-1800. specifically, it examines the highbrow foundations of consumerism in nutrients, costume, look after, utilities, details and symbolism. It highlights consumerism as an expression of either rationality and freedom and exhibits the positive function it has performed within the formation of the trendy global. specific use is made from comparisons among advancements in Europe and China to distinguish both.

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Additional info for Material Culture in Europe and China, 1400–1800: The Rise of Consumerism

Sample text

The very concept of news comes from sixteenth-century Rome. Networks, news and novelty laid the infrastructure for the virtually new phenomenon of fashion. By surcharging and redirecting consumption, fashion became the mother of consumerism in its modern form. (4) CONSUMERISM If material culture in Europe and China was transformed in the period of globalization, it was chiefty by the agency of consumerism. Consumerism appeared first in China, under the Sung, especially the Southern Sung. It is evident already in Marco Polo's astonished description of 24 Material Culture in Europe and China, 1400-1800 Quinsai (Hsing-ts'ai, the temporary Southern Sung capital of Hangchou) and Zaiton (Ch'uan-chou in Fukien) the Sinoport from which Chinese enterprise south was conducted.

It expanded beyond its nucleus in the artificiaHy created delta of the Chengtu plain, whose resources had turned Ch'in into China and given Liu Pang victory over Hsiang Yü, into the hill country surrounding the plain. This provided tea, wax, varnish and medicines for export to the rest of the empire, tea especiaHy being one of the consumer discoveries of the T'ang period. On the plain, large colonial latifundia were based on paddy fields, fishponds and salt weHs, but in the hills where small, market-oriented family farms predominated, sorghum was a useful pioneer' s crop.

It was also managed, even manipulated, by a new flow of written information. This information supplemented, extended and eventually supplanted example, word of mouth, gossip and rumour in the formation of taste. In food, cook books appeared; in dress, patterns, model dolls, magazines; in housing, design books, style manuals, garden plans, prototypes for furniture and ceramics. Advertising is commonly understood in terms of product promotion. That may be the intentio n of the advertiser, but authorial intent is an insufficient guide to the meaning of a text, and the growth of advertising should be seen as the rise of a more informated and mediated form of society.

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Material Culture in Europe and China, 1400–1800: The Rise of Consumerism by S.A.M. Adshead

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