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2010/2011  BA-BLM_BA31  Consuming America

English Title
Consuming America

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn . Spring
Pending schedule: Wed.:15.20-17.55, week:36-41, 43-46 This course will be offered in Spring 2012
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for MA in International Business Communication
Course Coordinator
  • Marianne Kongerslev - Department of International Language Studies and Computational Linquistics
Secretary Tine Silfvander- ts.iadh@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies

Taught under Open University-Taught under open university.
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The student must demonstrate:
• a thorough knowledge of the course themes and developments
• skills to discuss an issue pertaining to consumerism in an American context on an academically appropriate level.
• an ability to independently analyze and discuss cultural/social/political developments relevant to the chosen topic.
• an ability to gather diverse sources of information to produce a coherent written analysis that contains academically acceptable arguments while observing the genre conventions of academic writing.
To enroll in this course, students must have a basic knowledge of American society and history as well as sufficient English proficiency skills to be able to actively engage in discussions.
Individual written assignment
Exam Period Winter Term and Summer Term

Individual written 8-page home assignment on a topic/thesis statement chosen by the student. Topics are subject to approval by the supervisor. Grade according to the 7-point scale, no second examiner.

The exam-paper must be:
• well organized
• strongly coherent and cohesive
• well argued
• and stylistically appropriate.
The paper may focus on either a specific case, a cultural trend og theoretical problem.
Re-exam the same as the ordinary.
Course Content

This course considers the intersections between culture, politics and consumption in the US. We will trace the patterns of consumption since the late 19th century with the creation of a middle class and the notion of leisure, to the present and the rise of “New Consumerism”. Students will be introduced to and discuss themes connected to consumerism such as gender and race, inequality and class, capitalism and consumer spending patterns, consumer activism and anti-consumerism, important developments within technology, the internet, new ICTs and the emergence of cultural practices particularly relevant to the US, such as the car culture, shopping malls, food and advertising.

Students will acquire the following academic competences:

- Theoretical knowledge about consumerism.

- Historical knowledge of consumerim in the US.

- Knowledge of intercultural communication issues related to consumption.

- Ability to analyze consumption patterns.

- Knowledge of the intersections between politics, culture and consumption.

Teaching Methods
The course consists of 10 weeks’ teaching with two weekly lessons.

Teaching will be in seminar form with short lectures, group work and student presentations. Furthermore, students are expected to participate actively.

For example:

Lawrence B. Glickman (Editor): Consumer Society in American History: A Reader (1999)

Juliet B. Schor: The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (1999)

Complete study plan and syllabus to be announced at the beginning of the course.