A woman in the kitchen in front of a Christmas tree

The Gendering of Holiday Labor

Women in heterosexual relationships still do most of the domestic work. During the holiday season, the tasks multiply.
An overhead view of a book store

Why We Love Local Businesses

The explanation may have to do with the gift economy.
A woman wearing a non-existent dress

How Much Would You Pay for a Nonexistent Dress?

Not too long ago, digital-only clothing might have been decried as a scam. But our "extended selves" are increasingly invested in virtual goods.
A student standing at a crossroads

Why Everyone Doesn’t Value Choice to the Same Degree

Studies show that college-educated white Americans value having choice -- and yet having too much choice can paralyze and lead to dissatisfaction.
television personality Garry Moore and Kellogg's cereal character Tony the Tiger from a 1955 Kellogg's ad.

Blame Your Inner Child For Your Brand Affinities

Research shows that the advertising we see in childhood stays with us for a very, very long time.
Woman taking photo of pumpkin soup with smartphone

Don’t Buy Into the Authenticity Scam

We choose products and services partially based on how they make us feel, on meanings we derive from our choices.
Starbucks drinks

Why Brands Want To Be Your BFF

Most contemporary consumers consider ourselves too savvy to be taken in by a corporation’s attempts to integrate seamlessly ...
watching tv on couch

Mediated Reality is No Match for Personal Experience

The world represented in the media greatly influences our understanding and beliefs about reality. But our lived experiences might be more important.
Marshmallows

What’s So Bad About Instant Gratification?

The internet is making us impatient. But is that actually such a bad thing? Our tech columnist takes a look.
Still Life

Thanksgiving Is a Feast of Things Forgotten

Thanksgiving is a feast so complex and semiotically dense that things are very often forgotten and rarely go according to plan.