PART 2

American Culture

  • Culture is a term sometimes used too vaguely. We will define the term in a very particular, anthropological way.

    Culture consists of the meanings that define our ideas of age, class, gender, race, ethnicity, and things like families, food, health, aging, child rearing, work, and creativity. In the American case, we are particularly interested in the big shift that has taken place since World War II. In the 50s, American culture was dominated by upward mobility, conspicuous consumption, and social status.

    This model has been radically reworked. Our culture is now dominated by several themes: multiplicity, transformation, fluidity, complexity and diversity. We are defining the self, the community, and the organization. And this makes the consumer a very different creature engaged in new and sometimes highly experimental notions of identity and community.

    Consumer motivations and choices - why and what they buy - are changing at light speed. The old rules are dead. New rules are emerging. We will map these rules, discuss what they mean and show how to use them.