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Consumer Society in the 1920s and Today

  • Date Submitted: 05/01/2011 08:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38.6 
  • Words: 824
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The 1920s were a very important decade in the lives of consumer society in America. Many of those goods, from hoop skirts to candy bars to cereal, had been around for several decades by the 1920s. Some of them, like watches, calico hand-made men's shirts, even factory-made men's shirts, had been around for much longer. But they had not always been accessible to most people or to the majority of Americans. On the supply side, we see in the 1914s till today, the continuation and the taking hold of a variety of technological and organizational transitions and innovations that had begun really in the decades after the Civil War. We most commonly think of those as mass production and mass distribution - from plow blades to belt buckles to electric hand-warmers and toothbrushes - coming out of American factories in greater numbers, at lower costs, and traveling much more efficiently across the country. We do see a change, however, compared to the 1914´s where mass production and mass distribution has not been as MASSIVE as it is today, with products today reaching the hands of people of different regions and locations within days versus weeks and probably months in the 1914´s (thanks to improved transportation and distribution techniques such as faster planes and boats).
    But also important on the supply side in understanding the burgeoning of consumption, the growth of Americans into modern consumers that's so obvious and so important to defining the 1914s, also important is a range of innovations in terms of marketing such as advertising. Advertising is a very old phenomenon, but like mass production and distribution, it really gets moved into third or fourth gear by the 1914s, and we have the birth of companies which have figured out how to effectively reach millions of consumers. In today´s society, the biggest companies (such as McDonalds, Sony, Samsung, etc.) also continue the trend of effectively reaching millions of consumers. However, the change that arose...

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