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Creating ConsumersHome Economists in Twentieth-Century America$
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Carolyn M. Goldstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835531

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807872383_goldstein

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Reforming the Marketplace at the Bureau of Home Economics, 1923–1940

Reforming the Marketplace at the Bureau of Home Economics, 1923–1940

Chapter:
(p.98) 3 Reforming the Marketplace at the Bureau of Home Economics, 1923–1940
Source:
Creating Consumers
Author(s):

Carolyn M. Goldstein

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807872383_goldstein.7

This chapter demonstrates how home economists used the Bureau of Home Economics (BHE) to educate and advocate for rational consumption. Bureau home economists collaborated closely with university home economics professors and the American Home Economics Association (AHEA) to create a marketplace where the information required to make cost-benefit analyses of purchasing choices was readily accessible. To promote rational consumption, home economists negotiated with manufacturers and other government officials, providing input from the perspective of consumers. The chapter presents two case studies that demonstrate home economists' efforts to exert influence on both production and retail methods: the bureau's refrigeration investigations and its textiles and clothing research.

Keywords:   home economists, Bureau of Home Economics, rational consumption, American Home Economics Association, AHEA, cost-benefit analyses, refrigeration, textiles, clothing

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