Lu Ann Jones' Gender, Race, and Itinerant Commerce in the Rural New South

Lu Ann Jones, "Gender, Race, and Itinerant Commerce in the Rural New South," Journal of Southern History 66 (May 2000), 297-320.

Using vivid firsthand accounts and stunning storytelling of her own, author Lu Ann Jones illustrates that peddlers and salesmen created an alternative market to the general stores of the New South-which were public areas of white male dominance, racism, and gender and racial inequality in the late nineteenth century and through the mid-twentieth. Door-to-door sales offered an opportunity for expanded trade in the number and selection of items available in the rural south, and also allowed women and African Americans to be involved in commerce. Use of the ...

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argument: peddlers, owners of "rolling stores" (301), and sales representatives for national companies (two in particular: W. T. Rawleigh Company and J. R. Watkins Medical Company, both Midwest-based). Describing these roles as they developed chronologically, Jones moves the reader from least corporate, in a sense, to most corporate. The peddler is the simplest form of traveling salesman, selling what he has to earn what he needs; he is an "independent entrepreneur"(301). Rolling store owners took to the road with goods to sell from their permanent locations elsewhere, extending their market. The next step was the rise of companies whose entire business model was structured around the homestead: J. R. Watkins Medical Company and W. T. Rawleigh Company drew not only droves of shoppers, but also recruited and trained salesmen. As the author develops her argument, it reads like a reflection of the rise of American capitalism as it became in the twentieth century. She then examines the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/23/2018 02:08:05 PM
Submitted By: bigdog2
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1213
Pages: 5

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