My book, Class Acts: Young Men and the Rise of Lifestyle, is available now to order from the University of Nevada Press or Amazon. I’m so excited to see this project come to fruition, thanks to my wonderful editor Matt Becker and peer reviewers. The book looks at what I call the rise of lifestyle in the postwar period, linking it to male style and marketing. When young middle-class men throughout this time period adopted the style and dress of their working-class peers it suggested that class identity was a matter of choice, disconnected from materiality. This appealed to marketers, who were in the midst of developing new methods of dividing up the American populace (just think of the giant computer that disrupts the creative department in Mad Men). They seized on the idea of marketing lifestyle, making class identity as easy to buy as a new shirt, as I show through case studies of the popularity of hip hop with young white men and poverty chic in the 1990s.
If any of you read my book, I’d love to hear what you think!