Until the late 1950s residents of Vancouver and Victoria negotiated a shopping landscape that would be unrecognizable to today's consumers: most stores were closed for at least half the day on Wednesdays, prevented from opening during the evenings, and were banned from operating on Sundays. Since that decade, however, British Columbians, and Canadians generally, have made significant strides in gaining greater and easier access to consumer goods. Selling Out or Buying In? is the first work to illuminate the process by which consumers' access to goods and services was liberalized and deregulated in Canada in the second half of the twentieth century. Michael Dawson's engagingly written and detailed exploration of the debates amongst everyday citizens and politicians regarding the pros and cons of expanding shopping opportunities, challenges the assumption of inevitability surrounding Canada's emergence as a consumer society. The expansion of store hours was a highly contested and contingent development that pitted employees, owners and regulators against one another.
Dawson's nuanced analysis of archival and newspaper sources reveals the strains that modern capitalism imparted upon the accepted and established rhythms of daily life.
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 241 x 165 x 20 mm
"Dawson is optimistic about our own agency to break out of the prison house of consumerism..." -- Dr. Matthew J. Bellamy * BC Studies, online *
"This well-researched engaging monograph uncovers the complex debates over store-hour restrictions that shaped the retail landscape of Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, in the post-Second World War period." -- Vicki Howard, University of Essex * Histoire Sociale/Social History, vol 52 no 105, May '19 *