Selling British Columbia: Tourism and Consumer Culture, 1890-1970

Selling British Columbia: Tourism and Consumer Culture, 1890-1970

by Michael Dawson
     
 

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Selling British Columbia is an entertaining examination of the development of the tourist industry in British Columbia between 1890 and 1970. Michael Dawson argues that in order to understand the roots of the fully-fledged consumer culture that emerged in Canada after the Second World War, it is necessary to understand the connections between the 1930s,

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Overview

Selling British Columbia is an entertaining examination of the development of the tourist industry in British Columbia between 1890 and 1970. Michael Dawson argues that in order to understand the roots of the fully-fledged consumer culture that emerged in Canada after the Second World War, it is necessary to understand the connections between the 1930s, 1940s, and the postwar era. Cultural producers such as tourism promoters and the state infrastructure played important roles in fostering consumer demand, particularly during the Depression, the Second World War, and throughout the postwar era.

Dawson draws upon promotional pamphlets, newspapers, advertisements, and films, as well as archival sources regarding government, civic, and international tourism organizations. Central to his book is an examination of the representation of popular imagery and of how aboriginal and British cultures were commodified and marketed to potential tourists. He also looks at the gendered aspect of these promotional campaigns, particularly during the 1940s, and challenges earlier interpretations regarding the relationship between tourism and nature in Canada.

Historians have tended to focus on either the first wave of consumerism from the 1880s to the 1920s, or else on the era of economic expansion that followed World War Two. As Dawson shows, the 1930-45 period in particular was an important and dynamic one in the creation of Canadian and British Columbian consumer culture.

Michael Dawson’s highly readable and engaging account of the development of the British Columbia tourist industry will be welcomed by British Columbian and Canadian historians, as well as other scholars of tourism and consumerism.

University of Washington Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780774810555
Publisher:
University of British Columbia Press
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 3.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Karen Dubinsky
In Selling British Columbia, Michael Dawson takes a creative approach to the study of tourism in Canada. He makes a good case for looking at the tourist trade from the perspective of the image—makers, showing how tourism promoters stimulated consumer demand. Drawing from a vast array of sources and contributing to the growing field of tourism studies, this book will speak to an international audience.

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