The American Way of Selling

Andrew Gordon

in Fabricating Consumers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267855
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950313 | DOI:
The American Way of Selling

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The renowned selling system developed in America that was brought to Japan in 1900 had by then taken firm shape as a product of trans-Atlantic and transnational experience. The Singer system helped produce new social roles and forms of discipline. The household machine and home-based users came to constitute the great majority of the Singer Sewing Machine Company's market in Japan. Women teachers shared with their male coworkers mobility and the privilege of entering the homes of strangers, and were more often praised or envied than feared or scorned. Singer's experience in Japan offers insight into the ways in which practices of global capitalism are not only transformative but also at times resisted, and in some measure transformed, as they take root in particular locales. It also played a role in shaping and promoting the modern profession of the salesman, new ideas of female self-reliance, and the spread of consumer credit.

Keywords: Singer Sewing Machine; Japan; women teachers; global capitalism; salesman; female self-reliance; consumer credit

Chapter.  10431 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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