“The American Dream is a term that is often used but also often misunderstood. It isn’t really about becoming rich or famous. It is about things much simpler and more fundamental than that.”
– Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida
What does it mean to live like an American? And how does the rest of the world view typical day-to-day American life?
Keurig. Fitbit. Netflix. Pinterest. Consumable objects and activities like these carry images of an American “good life” recognized around the world, shaping and reflecting the complex technological, political, and economic dynamics associated with globalization. How do these ideas and images shape individual consumer identities around the world? How do other societies adapt to and alter American consumer goods? And what are the ecological and economic impacts for the countries that produce and dispose of iPhones, Nikes, and other iconic objects of desire?
In AMST 352 – American Culture in Global Perspective, we’ll explore these issues as we analyze the carefully designed campaigns that communicate branded ‘lifestyles,’ trace the production processes behind coveted labels, and investigate emerging forms of commodity activism.
AMST 352 is a hybrid course taught at the Shady Grove Campus in Rockville, Maryland. AMST 352 counts towards the Arts and Humanities GEP and Culture GEP requirements. Recommended preparation includes one lower-level social sciences or humanities course focused on American society or culture.