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ILLOUZ Eva 1997 Consuming the Romantic Utopia

Consuming the Romantic Utopia
ILLOUZ Eva 1997 University of California Press, Berkeley
This is the name of her first book, addresses a dual process: the commodification of romance and the romanticization of commodities. Looking at a wide sample of advertising images in women’s magazines of the 1930s’ and watching movies of that period, advertising and cinematic culture presented commodities as the vector for emotional experiences and particularly for the experience of romance. Commodities of many kinds –soaps, refrigerators, vacation packages, watches, diamonds, cereals, cosmetics, and many others—were presented as enabling the experience of love and romance. The second process was that of the commodification of romance, which is the process by which the 19th century practice of calling on a woman, that is going to her home, was replaced by dating, going out places and consuming together the increasingly powerful industries of leisure. Romantic encounters moved from the home to the sphere of consumer leisure with the result that the search for romantic love was made into a vector for the consumption of leisure goods produced by expanding industries of leisure.

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