Needlework education and the consumer society

How the development of needlework education interconnects with consumption patterns

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When a society develops more and more into being a consumer society, the needlework education will also change – with great haste. Therefore, a development toward consumerism can be traced in curricula regarding this specific subject. People’s changing attitude toward spending, wasting, and an extravagant living is an important feature which explains the shift between non-consumer societies and societies driven by (and allowing) consumerism. Society’s outlook on these features is most efficiently reflected by that policy the institutions in that society which is being examined uses to form its citizens’ desirable (consumer) behavior. In understanding the development from a non-consumerist society to a consumer society, this paper on the Icelandic syllabi for needlework and textile education plays a prominent part. This paper suggests that any society which educates its young ones to darn, mend, and knit with the explicit motive to help the deprived homes and fosters these skills as part of necessary virtues for future housewives, cannot justifiably be called a consumer society.


Carl-Mikael A. Teglund


The author is a teacher in History and English on senior high school level, and holds a MA from Uppsala University in Economic History (major in consumption history and a minor in economic warfare) and a BA in English (etymology). He also has a MA from the University of Oslo in Comparative and International Education (language assessment).

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Publishing House:

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing


History, Iceland, knitting, consumption, consumer society, Consumerism, Reykjavik, curriculum, Needlework, Needlework education

Product category:

HISTORY / General