American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998 / Edition 1

American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998 / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Ted Ownby
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807848069

ISBN-13: 9780807848067

Pub. Date: 05/31/1999

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

The dreams of abundance, choice, and novelty that have fueled the growth of consumer culture in the United States would seem to have little place in the history of Mississippi—a state long associated with poverty, inequality, and rural life. But as Ted Ownby demonstrates in this innovative study, consumer goods and shopping have played important roles in the

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Overview

The dreams of abundance, choice, and novelty that have fueled the growth of consumer culture in the United States would seem to have little place in the history of Mississippi—a state long associated with poverty, inequality, and rural life. But as Ted Ownby demonstrates in this innovative study, consumer goods and shopping have played important roles in the development of class, race, and gender relations in Mississippi from the antebellum era to the present.

After examining the general and plantation stores of the nineteenth century, a period when shopping habits were stratified according to racial and class hierarchies, Ownby traces the development of new types of stores and buying patterns in the twentieth century, when women and African Americans began to wield new forms of economic power. Using sources as diverse as store ledgers, blues lyrics, and the writings of William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, and Will Percy, he illuminates the changing relationships among race, rural life, and consumer goods and, in the process, offers a new way to understand the connection between power and culture in the American South.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807848067
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
05/31/1999
Edition description:
1
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter One. Men Buying Cloth: The Limits of Shopping among Nineteenth-Century Farmers
Chapter Two. Wealthy Men, Wealthy Women, and Slaves as Antebellum Consumers
Chapter Three. You Don't Want Nothing: Goods, Plantation Labor, and the Meanings of Freedom, 1865-1920s
Chapter Four. New Stores and New Shoppers, 1880-1930
Chapter Five. Gladys Smith, Dorothy Dickins, and Consumer Ideals for Women, 1920s-1950s
Chapter Six. Goods, Migration, and the Blues, 1920s-1950s
Chapter Seven. Percy, Wright, Faulkner, and Welty: Montgomery Ward Snopes and the Intellectual Challenges of Consumption
Chapter Eight. White Christmas: Boycotts and the Meanings of Shopping, 1960-1990
Epilogue. A "Fine New Day"?
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Illustrations

Leigh's Chapel Store, Tipton County, Tennessee, early 1900s
Dry goods store in Bolivar, Tennessee, 1913
Joseph Perlinsky, Canton, Mississippi
Abroms New City Store, Rosedale, Mississippi, 1939
North Washington Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1936
Good Hope Plantation, Mileston, Mississippi, 1939
Woman with a mail-order catalog, Washington County, Mississippi, 1937
Workers moving between Clarksdale and Greenville, 1938
The Hoffman 5 and 10 Cent Store, Greenville, Mississippi, 1905
Kew Mercantile, Wiggins, Mississippi
The Woolworth store in Laurel, Mississippi
Commerce Street, West Point, Mississippi, 1907
Quilters in a home near Pace, Mississippi, 1939
Woman in Hinds County, Mississippi, wearing clothing made from a fertilizer sack
Juke joint outside Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939
Robinson Motor Company, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939
Elderly couple in Madison County, Tennessee, 1910
Downtown Port Gibson, Mississippi, 1940

Tables

1. Accounts at General Stores, by Gender
2. Customers at General Stores, by Gender
3. Purchases Made by Sixty-seven Customers at the F. H. Campbell Store, Lodi, Mississippi, 1889-1891
4. Most Expensive Individual Purchases at Stores, 1831-1894
5. Spinning Wheels, Looms, and Spinning Machines Owned by People of Different Levels of Wealth in Nineteenth-century Mississippi
6. Methods of Payment at Rogers and Hearn Store, Jackson, Tennessee, 1859-1860
7. Amounts Paid in Cash by Slaves at Rogers and Hearn Store, 1859-1860
8. Fabric Purchases Made by Slaves at Rogers and Hearn Store, 1859-1860
9. Value of Hats Purchased by Slaves at Rogers and Hearn Store, 1859-1860
10. Visits by Slaves to Rogers and Hearn Store, March 1859-February 1860
11. Nonmusical Work Performed by Blues Musicians, 1910-1949

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American Dreams in Mississippi; Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, and would like to read it again when I have more time to devote to it. It takes a unique perspective on Southern - Mississippi - history, by portraying a culture and history through consumerism. It's fascinating in that it has accurate historical data about exactly who purchased what, when, and where. Many of my preconceived notions of Mississippi consumerism were soundly debunked, which was very interesting. What I also found to be of particular interest was the way the book tracks the changes that occured in consumerism, focusing on how they changed more so than why they changed. Elvis' mom was a nice surprise. I highly recommend.