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Regeneration through Misuse: Rugged Consumerism in Contemporary American Culture Public Deposited

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  • This essay charts the emergence of “rugged consumers” in contemporary American culture: skilled laborers who confront the disappearance of manufacturing jobs during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and the accompanying sense of labor’s marginality in American society. Although they are alienated from sites of industrial productivity, rugged consumers find alternative means of practicing their skills by creatively misusing, repairing, and repurposing the commodities in their environments. At the same time, they ennoble such actions by modeling them on the intertwined American myths of primal nature and rugged individualism. Whether in literature or in the broader culture, American rugged consumers thus mediate between the mythic models of self-sufficiency celebrated by the country’s older, frontier capitalism and the postindustrial realities of the present. The essay posits four provisional categories of rugged consumerism, ranging from the hypermasculine weaponization of unlikely objects to the (re)creation of environmentally sustainable interior designs.
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  • • Raymond Malewitz. (2012). Regeneration through misuse: Rugged consumerism in contemporary American culture. PMLA. Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 127(3), 526-570
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  • 127
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  • 3
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-06T16:49:22Z No. of bitstreams: 1 MalewitzRaymondWritingLiteratureFilmRegenerationMisuseRugged.pdf: 324016 bytes, checksum: 8e48867237e803801a166749dc96b5f9 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-09-06T16:55:56Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 MalewitzRaymondWritingLiteratureFilmRegenerationMisuseRugged.pdf: 324016 bytes, checksum: 8e48867237e803801a166749dc96b5f9 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-05
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deborah Campbell(deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-06T16:55:56Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MalewitzRaymondWritingLiteratureFilmRegenerationMisuseRugged.pdf: 324016 bytes, checksum: 8e48867237e803801a166749dc96b5f9 (MD5)

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