The Making of European Consumption: Facing the American Challenge
Edited book, 2015
American ideals and models feature prominently in the master narrative of post-war European consumer societies. Some claim that the American way of life ultimately gained hegemony in Europe. The authors of this book assert that a crucial dimension is missing from the claim of American hegemony - namely, the realities of European power, and the often-complex actions taken by Europeans. In this volume, scholarship from different European countries demonstrates that Europeans maintained myriad views of America; Europeans did not appropriate a homogenous notion of America. The chapters illustrate how, by distinguishing between product and process innovations enables, patterns of appropriation become apparent. The contributors to this volume demonstrate that American elements - from models to practices to technologies - were more prominent in European process innovations than in product innovations. And, ultimately, post-war European consumption is best described as a process of selective appropriation -rather than the wholesale acceptance or rejection - of American ideals and models.