While the American Dream means different things to different people, a recognizable “good life” that communicates the American Dream often revolves around consumption: well-appointed homes, cars that signal status, the elaborate Promposals, weddings, and vacations shared on Facebook or Instagram.
Explore all this and more in AMST 352: American Culture in a Global Perspective, a comparative study into how and why United States culture impacts the world. This winter’s topic: Consumer Culture.
What are the relationships between America’s consumer culture and the rest of the world? What are the economic, environmental, labor, and health impacts of consumer culture for the people who make and/or consume everyday products like the food we eat, the clothing we wear, and the prescription drugs that keep us healthy? To what extent might the conditions of contemporary consumer culture foster a dehumanizing and ever-expanding “iron cage” that might enclose producers and consumers alike? This winter term, we’ll address all of these questions, sharpening our skills in speaking, writing, and critical thinking along the way.
AMST 352 is offered at UMBC’s Shady Grove campus, and fulfills the Arts and Humanities GEP and the Culture requirement for undergraduates.