PJAS 11 Spring-15

Mirosław Aleksander Miernik
Capitalism as a Cultural System: In Memory of Joyce Appleby
Review Essay

Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 11 (Spring 2017), pp. 223-230

Abstract: This essay discusses Joyce Appleby’s idea that capitalism, apart from being an economic system, also is a cultural one. Her earlier work, which included the intellectual history of capitalism, stressed the impact of the early American thought on the emerging national identity of the United States, particularly in the context of free enterprise, individualism and the marketplace. After a brief discussion of Appleby’s early conceptions, the article goes on to assess the concept of capitalism as a cultural system, tracing its potential usefulness in the study both of American culture and of the discourses pertaining to this economic system and the culture it is associated with.

Keywords: Joyce Appleby, capitalism, consumerism, individualism, American identity

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.11/1/2017.15

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