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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
 

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ISBN-10: 0822344750

ISBN-13: 2900822344758

Pub. Date: 06/19/2009

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

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 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

Overview

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 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 now 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 décor, housing urban development, and commercial real estate, white 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 itsfocus 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900822344758
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
06/19/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
440

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Land of Necessity Alexis McCrossen xv

Part I Histories of Nations, Consumers, and Borderlands

Drawing Boundaries between Markets, Nations, and Peoples, 1650-1940 Alexis McCrossen 3

Disrupting Boundaries: Consumer Capitalism and Culture in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1940-2008 Alexis McCrossen 48

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 83

Selling the Border: Trading Land, Attracting Tourists, and Marketing American Consumption on the Baja California Border, 1900-1934 Rachel St. John 113

Cinema on the U.S.-Mexico Border: American Motion Pictures and Mexican Audiences, 1896-1930 Laura Isabel Serna 143

Promoting the Pacific Borderlands: Leisure and Labor in Southern California, 1870-1950 Lawrence Culver 168

Finding Mexico's Great Show Window: A Tale of Two Borderlands, 1960-1975 Evan R. Ward 196

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 217

Confined to the Margins: Smuggling among Native People of the Borderlands Robert Perez 248

Using and Sharing: Direct Selling in the Borderlands Peter S. Cahn 274

El Dompe, Los Yonkes, and Las Segundas: Consumption's Other Side in El Paso-Ciudad Juárez Sarah Hill 298

Reflections

The Study of Borderlands Consumption: Potentials and Precautions Howard Campbell Josiah McC. Heyman 325

On La Frontera and Cultures ofConsumption: An Essay of Images Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo 333

Selected Bibliography 355

Contributors 397

Index 401

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