Brands in History and History in Brands

  • Arthur Asa Berger


This chapter deals with the historical dimensions of branding and argues that branding is not a modern phenomenon tied to the development of capitalism and the growth of industrialization, but has existed for thousands of years. It takes issue, then, with views like Naomi Klein’s about the origins of branding in post-industrial Europe. Next, I deal with the social significance of brands and their role in shaping our everyday behavior. This leads to a discussion of postmodernism, which represented a major shift in American culture and replaced modernism in the United States around 1960. Postmodernism is a culture of consumption and therefore of brands.


Capitalism Industrialization History of brands Postmodernism 


  1. Featherstone, Mike. (1991). Consumer Culture and Postmodernism. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Lyotard, Jean-François. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  3. Marx, Karl. (1964). Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy (T.B. Bottomore and M. Rubel, Eds.; T.B. Bottomore, Trans.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Asa Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Broadcast and Electronic Communication ArtsSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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