History of consumption

Session organizer/s: Fia Sundevall


Session: 7

Authors: Ibrahim Murat Kara

Co-authors: NA

Abstract: This study is an analysis of Ming China and Renaissance Italy’s courtesans from the perspective of European luxury debates. Luxury debates started in the18th century and ushered in a phase of more positive intellectual attitudes towards luxury compared to the past, when luxury was considered in negative terms. By focusing on courtesans’ luxurious lifestyle in Renaissance Italy and Ming China, the study examines a variety of sources in order to find common patterns in courtesan figures and societal behaviors in the two cultures. In this sense, starting from courtesans’ degree of compliance with the codes of their respective societies, subsequently examining courtesans’ homes and possessions, and finally discussing the era’s etiquette, this study argues that courtesans’ appearance and rise in both cultures is linked to both material and spiritual/moral developments engendered by the rise of the commercial societies of Renaissance Italy and Ming China. The article’s theoretical approach uses cultural history’s parallel demonstration to analyze courtesans’ lives in Renaissance Italy and Ming China. This allows for a more focused comparative reading of the elements of luxury in courtesan lifestyles and helps locating the key similarities and differences in courtesanship and socioeconomic conditions in these two societies. The study brings new insights to the studies on European and Chinese courtesans by comparing and contrasting two distinct cultures,and contributes to the advancement of luxury debates by applying fundamental aspects of these debates to the phenomenon of courtesanship.

Moderate advertising The historical development of the regulation of alcohol advertising in Sweden 1950–2003

Session: 7

Authors: Michael Funke

Co-authors: NA

Abstract: Moderate advertising The historical development of the regulation of alcohol advertising in Sweden 1950–2003 The study investigates the historical development of the regulation of alcohol advertising in Sweden during the period 1950–2003. It centers on how central stakeholders (companies, business associations, temperance movement, consumer and state representatives) promoted their interests in the policy process of alcohol advertising regulation. The period contains central discussions about how alcohol and alcohol advertising should be regulated, and subsequent rule changes and institutional development both within legislation and self-regulation of alcohol advertising. Unlike most products on the competitive consumer market, which can be advertise freely to compete and increase market shares, advertising for alcohol is constrained by wider public considerations of its inherent adverse effects. This sets the scene for a complicated policy process of regulation, with a diverse group of stake holders vying for influence. The topic has not been previously investigated, and even on an international level, historical studies of regulatory development for alcohol advertising are few. This analysis will consequently make an important contribution to regulatory studies and advertising history.

The starting point of the period is linked to the emergence of a more liberalized consumer market after the abolition of the “motboken” rationing system in 1955. This put the regulation of alcohol advertising in focus, primarily due to fears that advertising would promote overconsumption, causing negative social effects and deteriorating public health. Advertising was therefore discussed and assessed in relation to promoting either a moderate consumption or as public health hazard that had to be banned. By the end of the 1970s, a very strict statutory regulation was implemented, in effect creating a ban on alcohol advertising. The end point is in turn linked to a liberalization of alcohol advertising in the wake of Sweden’s entry into the EU. This culminated when the ban on alcohol advertising was ruled as counter to EU regulation by Swedish courts, in effect introducing new legislation in 2003 that permitted advertising of wine and beer in the press.

Previous research on the general development of Swedish advertising regulation during the 1950s and 1960s has shown that the development was not self-evident, but dependent on the strategic actions of key stakeholders (Funke, 2015). A cursory study of sources indicates a similar policy process with regards to alcohol regulation: changes did not follow a pre-determined trajectory, instead, the policy process exhibits several signs of key stakeholders trying to impose their opposing interests, causing it to develop in an unpredictable manner. The role of self-regulation also seems important in overall regulatory development, although its influence appears to vary over time. The design of the study is therefore based on these conclusions about the importance of agents in regulatory development, and the interaction between self- and statutory regulation. Michael Funke Ph. D. Dept. of Economic History, Uppsala University The Institute for Economic and Business History Research (EHFF), Stockholm School of Economics

The Frontline Christmas Gift: Promoting Home-front Patriotism in Second World War Sweden

Session: 7

Authors: Nikolas Glover

Co-authors: Fia Sundevall; Klara Arnberg

Abstract: This paper deals with the Frontline Christmas Gift – Fältjulklappen – in Sweden during the Second World War. The annual campaign was organized by a national committee in which commercial actors, the military, and non-profit organizations joined forces to market home front patriotism by sending gifts to all soldiers and auxiliary service staff on duty on Christmas Eve. It was directed at civilians (primarily women) from the end of November to mid-December each year 1940-1944, and the presents were distributed by the military, with the help of female auxiliary corps, to deployed (male) soldiers and other military staff on guard (also primarily male, but some women too). Ultimately, 400 000 such gifts were delivered over the course of the war, as the campaigns successfully mobilized the resources of consumer society (advertising, shop windows, sales clerks), traditional gender roles (the devoted/protected woman in the service of her male guardian), and the commercial potential of patriotism and idealism. Drawing on archival documents (including correspondence, newspaper clippings, protocols, reports and the like) from the Frontline Christmas Gift national committee, this paper explores how established practices associated with consumer society and heterosexualized gender norms were both preserved and adapted during a period of significant upheaval through a national ritual of collective gift-giving. The gifts, we argue monetized a specific notion of (female) obligations and (male) “needs”, and thereby sought to boost the nation’s morale while at the same embedding it in Swedish consumer society.