Rick Popp, “Multinational Conglomerates and Technocratic Bigness in Late Postwar US Culture”

Description

This project provides a cultural history of the conglomerate, exploring how these bewilderingly diverse corporations fit into American thought between the 1960s and 1980s. Even for a public accustomed to corporate gigantism, conglomerates – which brought everything from movie studios to meatpacking plants under one roof – represented something new and commentary on them could be found everywhere from architectural theory to romantic comedies. I argue that conglomerates showed up in so many different places because they were symbolically useful, providing an especially powerful example of the technocratic bigness that many writers, artists, and filmmakers placed at the heart of late postwar social experience.

Biography

This project provides a cultural history of the conglomerate, exploring how these bewilderingly diverse corporations fit into American thought between the 1960s and 1980s. Even for a public accustomed to corporate gigantism, conglomerates – which brought everything from movie studios to meatpacking plants under one roof – represented something new and commentary on them could be found everywhere from architectural theory to romantic comedies. I argue that conglomerates showed up in so many different places because they were symbolically useful, providing an especially powerful example of the technocratic bigness that many writers, artists, and filmmakers placed at the heart of late postwar social experience.

 

“Multinational Conglomerates and Technocratic Bigness in Late Postwar US Culture”

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