Cultural Spaces of the Commodity
Routledge – 2008 – 232 pages
Series: Cultural Spaces
Capitalism's Eye is an extremely ambitious cultural history of how people experienced commodities in the era of industrial expansion. Writing against the dominant argument that the 'society of the spectacle' emerged fully formed in the mid-nineteenth century, Kevin Hetherington explains that the emergence of a culture of mass consumption dominated by visual experience was a much slower process, not truly ascendant until after the First World War. Looking at the department stores, home life, and the great exhibitions around the turn of the last century, Capitalism's Eye promises to transform how we understand both the cultural history of capitalism in America and Europe and the historical roots of the mediated spectacle that dominates our world today.
1. The Kohinoor Diamond 2. The Civil Inattention of the Object: The Making of the Late-Nineteenth Century Surrounding 3. The Society of Surroundings: Museum, Exhibition, and Shop 4. Kitsch and Clutter: Inhabiting Dream Interiors 5. Borderlands: Scent, Color, and the Middle Class Garden 6. Conservation Surroundings: Spaces of Suspended Time 7. The Japonisation of the Commodity: Lacquer, Surface, and Spectacle 8. Revealed Construction and Aesthetic Subjectivity 9. Conclusion
Kevin Hetherington is Professor of Geography at Open University, UK.