First Reading Journal Prompt: Christmas Buying
If you pick the “Reading Journal” category for your first blog post, respond to this prompt:
In Gary Cross’ chapter “Modern Childhood, Modern Toys,” Cross argues that during the twentieth century Christmas gifts for children became a form of what Thorstein Veblen called “vicarious consumption”; through buying a ton of Christmas presents for their kids, parents could display their wealth to others without being seen as self-indulgent or spendthrifty. (See packet page 59 for the passage in which Cross develops this argument.) Apply this thesis to the contemporary American scene, using scenes from advertisements, movies, or television to argue whether or not Cross is correct.