The Persistence of Advertising Culture: Commerce and Consumers in Multi-Ethnic Galicia, 1911-1921
Burks, Drew Patrick
University of Kansas
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Despite tremendous change and instability during the second decade of the twentieth century due to modernization, war, and political reconfiguration, some elements of everyday life in Cracow and Lemberg maintained a remarkable measure of superficial resilience. This study explores the resilience of newspaper advertising culture despite the violence and turmoil experienced during and after the First World War. It seeks to explain the ways in which advertising proved adaptable and the ways that it subtly, but significantly, changed. Both newspaper culture and advertising as a mode of social communication survived the war years and the unstable years in the early interwar period. This is a testament to their integral nature in the character of the modern cities of Cracow and Lemberg. The system of newspaper advertising had been in place for over a decade before the war broke out; and the level of its usage in the immediate years preceding the war is evidence of its familiarity, utility, and acceptance among the populations of Cracow and Lemberg. Though some areas of modern life suffered lapses that seemed to arrest the effects and benefits of modernization, newspaper advertising survived the war because it was an established part of urban culture prior to this period, and because it was able to adapt to the needs of advertisers during times of conflict. Further, as a reflection of the urban culture in Cracow and Lemberg, advertising as a mode of social communication serves as a lens to highlight changes in class and gender dynamics during the period from 1911 to 1921.
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