Goods, Power, History: Latin America's Material Culture

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Apr 30, 2001 - History - 245 pages
Why do we acquire the things we do? Behind this apparently ingenuous question are several answers, some straightforward and others more interesting. To feed ourselves, might be the first response, for we can easily see that we expend much energy in the quest for food. Clothing and shelter as well would seem to constitute our basic needs. Yet we quickly see that even in the Garden of Eden, people want more than they need. This simple impulse has created the ever-mounting abundance we call progress and nearly all of the subsequent trouble on our planet. Four main interwoven themes run through this exploration of material culture and consumption in Latin America over the past five centuries: supply and demand; the relationships between consumption and identity; the importance of ritual, both ancient and modern, in what we buy; and the relationship between colonial and post-colonial power in consumption.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Material Landscape of PreColumbian America
15
Contact Goods
46
Civilizing Goods
85
Modernizing Goods Material Culture at the Crest of the First Liberalism
129
Developing Goods
165
Global Goods Liberalism Redux
201
Bibliography
221
Index
235
Copyright

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