Land of Necessity: Consumer Culture in the United States-Mexico Borderlands

Land of Necessity: Consumer Culture in the United States-Mexico Borderlands

By: Alexis McCrossen (editor)Hardback

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Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University. In Land of Necessity, historians and anthropologists unravel the interplay of the national and transnational and of scarcity and abundance in the region split by the 1,969-mile boundary line dividing Mexico and the United States. This richly illustrated volume, with more than 100 images including maps, photographs, and advertisements, explores the convergence of broad demographic, economic, political, cultural, and transnational developments resulting in various forms of consumer culture in the borderlands. Though its importance is uncontestable, the role of necessity in consumer culture has rarely been explored. Indeed, it has been argued that where necessity reigns, consumer culture is anemic. This volume demonstrates otherwise. In doing so, it sheds new light on the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, while also opening up similar terrain for scholarly inquiry into consumer culture. The volume opens with two chapters that detail the historical trajectories of consumer culture and the borderlands. In the subsequent chapters, contributors take up subjects including smuggling, tourist districts and resorts, purchasing power, and living standards. Others address home decor, housing, urban development, and commercial real estate, while still others consider the circulation of cinematic images, contraband, used cars, and clothing. Several contributors discuss the movement of people across borders, within cities, and in retail spaces. In the two afterwords, scholars reflect on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a particular site of trade in labor, land, leisure, and commodities, while also musing about consumer culture as a place of complex political and economic negotiations. Through its focus on the borderlands, this volume provides valuable insight into the historical and contemporary aspects of the big "isms" shaping modern life: capitalism, nationalism, transnationalism, globalism, and, without a doubt, consumerism. Contributors. Josef Barton, Peter S. Cahn, Howard Campbell, Lawrence Culver, Amy S. Greenberg, Josiah McC. Heyman, Sarah Hill, Alexis McCrossen, Robert Perez, Laura Isabel Serna, Rachel St. John, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, Evan R. Ward

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About Author

Alexis McCrossen is Associate Professor of History at Southern Methodist University. She is the author of Holy Day, Holiday: The American Sunday.


Maps Acknowledgments Introduction: Land of Necessity / Alexis McCrossen Part I. Histories of Nations, Borderlands, and Consumers Drawing Boundaries between Markets, Nations, and Peoples, 1650-1940 / Alexis McCrossen Disrupting Boundaries: Consumer Capitalism and Culture in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1940-2008 / Alexis McCrossen Part II. National and Transnational Circuits of Consumption Domesticating the Border: Manifest Destiny and the "Comforts of Life" in the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commission and Gadsden Purchase, 1848-1854 / Amy S. Greenberg Selling the Border: Trading Land, Attracting Tourists, and Marketing American Consumption on the Baja California Border, 1900-1934 / Rachel St. John Cinema on the U.S.-Mexico Border: American Motion Pictures and Mexican Audiences, 1896-1930 / Laura isabel Serna Promoting the Pacific Borderlands: Leisure and Labor in Southern California, 1870-1950 / Lawrence Culver Finding Mexico's Great Show Window: A Tale of Two Borderlands, 1960-1975 / Evan R. Ward Part III. Consumption in National and Transnational Spaces At the Edge of the Storm: Northern Mexico's Rural Peoples in a New Regime of Consumption, 1880-1940 / Josef Barton Confined to the Margins: The Origins and Nature of the Underground Economy and Smuggling among the Native People of the Borderlands / Robert Perez Using and Sharing: Direct Selling in the Borderlands / Peter S. Cahn El Dompe, Los Yonkes and Las Segundas: Consumption's Other Side in El Paso-Ciudad Juarez / Sarah Hill Reflections The Study of Borderland Consumption: Potentials and Precautions / Howard Campbell and Josiah McC. Heyman On La Frontera and Cultures of Consumption: An Essay of Images / Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo Bibliography Contributors Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 19/06/2009
  • ISBN13: 9780822344605
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 440
  • ID: 9780822344605
  • ISBN10: 0822344602

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