Synopses & Reviews
From his founding of The Journal of Social History
to his groundbreaking work on the history of emotions, weight, and parenting, Peter N. Stearns has pushed the boundaries of social history to new levels, presenting new insights into how people have lived and thought through the ages. Having established the history of emotions as a major subfield of social history, Stearns and his collaborators are poised to do the same thing with the study of human behavior. This is their manifesto.
American Behavioral History deals with specific uses of historical data and analysis to illuminate American behavior patterns, ranging from car buying rituals to sexuality, and from funeral practices to contemporary grandparenting. The anthology illustrates the advantages and parameters of analyzing the ways in which people behave, and adds significantly to our social understanding while developing innovative methods for historical teaching and research.
At its core, the collection demonstrates how the study of the past can be directly used to understand current behaviors in the United States. Throughout, contributors discuss not only specific behavioral patterns but, importantly, how to consider and interpret them as vital historical sources.
Contributors include Gary Cross, Paula Fass, Linda Rosenzweig, Susan Matt, Steven M. Gelber, Peter N. Stearns, Suzanne Smith, Mark M. Smith, Kevin White.
“A masterful introduction to a new kind of history, one that looks to the past to illuminate the most basic aspects of contemporary behavior, from parenting practices and consumer behavior to the rise of the hospice and the growing acceptance of oral sex. This is one of those seminal books that radically transforms the way we look at the present and the past.”
-Steven Mintz,author of Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood
“Contextually rich, in-depth and well argued.”
-Journal of Social History,
“As always, Peter Stearns stimulates our thinking about history and human experience in important ways. American Behavioral History is unconventional, provocative, and compelling. This collection gives new vigor to the study of social history.”
-Joan Jacobs Brumberg,author of The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls
“Peter Stearns and his intrepid co-conspirators do not, like other seekers of truth in history, try to understand the past in its own terms. Instead, they try to learn from the past to touch the present and affect the future. One after another, their extraordinary essays suggest that their audacious ambition may be attainable.”
-Michael Zuckerman,author of Almost Chosen People: Oblique Biographies in the American Grain
“Stearns and his colleagues leave us with a compelling sense that we need history to understand ourselves. Without an engaged historical perspective on today's behaviors, prescriptions for social change will not only fail, but leave us vulnerable to quick fixes and moral zealotry, sparking social behaviors—;incidentally, with a rich American past—;whose history might assist us in our efforts to understand today's cultural and political climate, and, perhaps, begin to change it.”
-Journal of American History,
Asia currently accounts for a quarter of the world economy and half of the world's population. Few international companies can afford to ignore a market of such size and importance. Yet despite the centrality of Asia as a market, there exists a remarkable dearth of marketing theory specific to Asia.
Cultural differences strongly influence consumer behavior. In the West, an effective brand name will be short, distinctive, memorable, and indicative of the product's functions. In Asia, however, a strong belief in luck and fate means that additional qualities, such as whether the characters which make up a product name are "lucky" ones, has a significant effect on brand attitude. Successful sales and marketing strategies in Asia must be rooted in an understanding of the cultural differences which affect Asian consumers' buying patterns.
Consumer Behavior in Asia provides an invaluable guide to Western companies seeking to maximize their marketing success in Asia. Drawing on illustrations from a variety of Asian markets, the volume outlines the differences between Asian and Western cultures along cultural dimensions such as religion, tradition, and philosophy, explaining the effect such differences have on communication styles, brand loyalty, perceptions of products offered, and effective advertising methods.
About the Author
Peter N. Stearns is Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University. His publications include The Encyclopedia of World History; Western Civilizations in World History; World Civilizations, Volume II: 1450 to the Present; and World History in Brief: Major Patterns of Change and Continuity.