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Title:Constructing consumer culture: Advertising in imperial Russia to 1914
Author(s):West, Sally
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Verner, Andrew
Department / Program:History
Discipline:History, European
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Business Administration, Marketing
History, Modern
Mass Communications
Abstract:This dissertation is a study of the history and significance of commercial advertising in prerevolutionary urban Russia, with chronological emphasis on the early twentieth century. It examines advertising's role in fostering a Russian consumer culture and expanding the public arena.
Part One traces the rise of advertising as an industry in Russia. As a corollary of industrialization and the emergent mass-circulation press, advertising serves as a benchmark for Russia's integration into the international consumer market. The present findings show that, despite prevailing assessments of Russia as backward and isolated from the west, the business community adapted to meet the changing needs of trade, and urban residents were inescapably part of a cosmopolitan commercial culture. Advertising flourished in prerevolutionary Russia in the face of tradition and censorship, demonstrating the increasing diversity and dynamism of turn-of-the-century urban society.
Part Two examines the messages of the advertisements themselves, focusing on advertisers' attitudes to modernity, national and class identity, gender roles and sexuality. The values evident in these advertisements and the extent to which they perpetuated or challenged stereotypical notions tell us, on the one hand, much about the way advertisers viewed their society; on the other hand, these consumerist messages also presented the urban population with new aspirations and an awareness of the evolving possibilities of modern life. In this sense, advertising contributed to the pace of change in Russia on the eve of revolutionary transformation.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 West, Sally
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624535
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624535

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