Thursday, November 17, 2011


In Winter Park the home is one of the main consumptive structures. The home is been marked as a consumptive structure for many years now. The first time the home was marked as a consumptive structure across many social classes was during the Gilded Age. The home has almost always been a consumptive structure for the upper class, but the Gilded Age allowed for many social classes to become consumers. Many social classes were able to become consumers during the Gilded Age because of the rise of leisure time and the establishment of a materialistic driven culture. Also during the Gilded Age there was an increased production of goods, which were materialistic items and nothing more. These goods also became more readily available to a wider variety of people, from different socioeconomic standings. A wide variety of people ranging in socioeconomic status during the Gilded Age also had the ability to spend money on materialistic things. People’s spending during the Gilded Age was not just dependent on what they needed, which was one of the reasons for the creation of consumer culture.

A consumptive culture is clearly rooted in Winter Park’s history. When people initially moved to Winter Park it was only for the summer. The people who came to Winter Park were the wealthy and well off. The initial residents of Winter Park had the ability to spend money in excess. The amount of money the initial residents of Winter Park had the ability to spend there money on materialistic items, which was the main supporter of Winter Parks economy. Winter Park’s economy was dependent on northerners going to Winter Park for the summer and spending their money. The consumptive economic structure was built on allowed for the further development of Winter Park. With the people the northerners that came to Winter Park, also came people who needed employment in working class jobs, mainly to serve the northerners. The working class became dependent on the upper class being materialistically driven and buying things that they did not need. The base of Winter Park’s economy was established by consumer culture that was rising during the Gilded Age.

The consumer culture of Winter Park continues to be a main part of Winter Park’s economy today. Winter Park is clearly still has a well established consumptive structure, which there is evidence for when one walks down Park Ave. All of the stores down Park Ave. would only stay open if there were people who were willing to buy the goods they sell. Winter Park’s economic well being is dependent on people not only buying what they need, but buying things that they just desire to have. It is important to identify the people that create the consumptive structure within Winter Park are the people living in the community. The home acts as strong proponent to the establishment and perpetuation of the consumptive structure within Winter Park. Winter Park needs people to be materialistic in order to have a successful economic system. The consumptive structure that was established in the Gilded Age in Winter Park by it’s residents is still what holds the key to Winter Park’s economic prosperity.

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