Winner of the Thomas McGann Award from the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies
Combining theories from the anthropology of consumption, cultural studies, and gender studies with the methodologies of social, cultural, and oral histories, Natalia Milanesio shows the exceptional cultural and social visibility of low-income consumers in postwar Argentina along with their unprecedented economic and political influence. Her study reveals the scope of the remarkable transformations fueled by the new market by examining the language and aesthetics of advertisement, the rise of middle- and upper-class anxieties, and the profound changes in gender expectations.
"Eloquently explains how the Argentine working class made a grand entrance into a pre-existing world of consumption during the period of Juan Domingo Perón. Milanesio convincingly argues that Perón supported such entrance because the making of workers into consumers complemented his plan for industrial growth, reinforced his image as an advocate of the working class, and served as a source of political legitimacy. Once developed as a social and cultural category, workers-consumers transformed advertising--giving this field a national flare--and created a distinctive working-class consumer identity that democratized access to public space, altered gender norms, and threatened middle-class status and conservative factions of Argentine society."--Julio Moreno, author of Yankee Don't Go Home!: Mexican Nationalism, American Business Culture, and the Shaping of Modern Mexico, 1920-1950
"Natalia Milanesio's fascinating account of working-class consumer culture generates a series of eye-opening insights that will reshape the dominant interpretations of Peronism. Her analysis of advertising as well as her attention to shifting gender roles constitute original contributions to the scholarship on what many historians consider the critical juncture in the modern history of Argentina. Equally impressive is her expert use of oral history to uncover what expanded consumption meant for workers themselves. This is a terrific book that is a must read for all historians of modern Argentina and for anyone interested in consumption and consumerism throughout Latin America."--Matthew B. Karush, author of Culture of Class: Radio and Cinema in the Making of a Divided Argentina, 1920-1946