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Fads

FADS

The Hula Hoop, Pet Rock, and Cabbage Patch Kids were all crazes known as fads. These products, like most fads, entered the market quickly, created a consumer obsession, sold millions of units in a short amount of time, and declined just as rapidly. Their special product life cycle of quick, dramatic sales and a sharp, drastic decline differs from the five stage product life cycle concept of product development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Fads have a limited following and tend to die quickly because they do not satisfy a strong consumer need.

THE PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

The course that a product's sales and profits take over its lifetime is the product life cycle (PLC). Marketers know that all products will have some type of life cycle, but the shape and length is not known in advance. In the first stage of the cycle, product development, an idea for a product is formulated and development of the product begins. During this stage sales are zero, consumer research begins, and promotion consists of public relations.

The next stage, introduction, is characterized by a period of slow sales growth, but no profits are made because of the high initial investment and promotional costs. The company begins to inform consumers about the product through advertising, and distribution of the product is selective.

The third stage of the PLC, growth, is a time of rapid market acceptance and increasing profits. Product distribution becomes more widespread, and advertising shifts from being informative to being persuasive. Realizing the opportunity for profit, competitors will enter the market, creating market expansion. Promotional spending remains the same or increases slightly. Prices


may be lowered during the growth stage to attract new customers.

The fourth stage of the PLC, maturity, is a period of slow sales growth and leveling-off or declining profits. Most potential buyers have been reached, so no new customers are buying the product. This stage presents the greatest challenges to marketers. To prevent entering the decline stage, research and development departments may make product modifications to meet the changing needs of consumers, distribution becomes selective again, and advertising becomes competitive because of the number of competitors who have entered the market.

Sales slow and profits drop in the decline stage, usually because of advances in technology, a shift in consumer taste, or increased competition. Distribution becomes exclusive, and sales promotions are developed. Products in the decline stage should have their sales, market share, costs, and profit trends regularly reviewed so that managers can decide whether to maintain the product, harvest the product (reduce various costs associated with the product), or drop the product from the product line.

THE PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE OF FADS

The Hula Hoop has been called the "greatest fad of them all." Developed in 1957 by Wham-O creators Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, it was modeled after an Australian toy. A prototype was developed and tested on U.S. playgrounds and was found to have the longest play value. After only four months on the market, 25 million Hula Hoops had been sold. In less than a year, sales had almost completely stopped and competition was increasing, so Wham-O entered foreign markets and its success continued. Collectively, toy manufacturers made $45 million off the Hula Hoop.

The life cycle of the Hula Hoop was not typical of most products. A prototype was developed and tested during the product development stage, but the Hula Hoop bypassed the introduction stage and, with rapid sales, the toy quickly entered the growth stage. Again, the Hula Hoop skipped the maturity stage and went directly into the decline stage, with sales coming to an almost immediate halt. Other fads' life cycles have followed this model.

Gary Dahl created the Pet Rock in the 1970s, complaining that dogs, cats, and other pets were too messy, misbehaved, and expensive. Instead, Dahl had a pet rock that was easy to care for and cheap; it also had a great personality. Dahl wrote the Pet Rock Training Manual and created the Pet Rock out of a Rosarita Beach Stone that cost him a penny. In October 1975, Dahl packaged the Pet Rock in a gift box shaped like a pet carrying case, included the training manual, and sold it for $3.95.


Within a few months, Dahl had sold a million rocks and became an instant millionaire. By the next February, sales had stopped.

Unlike the Hula Hoop, the Pet Rock was not tested during the product development stage. Dahl had the idea for the product and quickly produced it with no market testing. Similar to the Hula Hoop, the Pet Rock caught on quickly with consumers, reached its life-cycle peak at the growth stage, and dipped down into the decline stage in a very short period of time.

Artist Xavier Roberts created Cabbage Patch Kids, originally called "Little People," in 1977. The cloth doll was "delivered" at BabyLand General Hospital, a former medical clinic in Cleveland, Georgia, where Roberts had his employees dress in white nurses' and doctors' uniforms. Sales of the dolls were termed adoptions, and each doll came with a birth certificate and adoption papers. Roberts sold 250,000 dolls at prices ranging from $125 to $1,000. National Cabbage Patch mania struck when Roberts signed a contract with Coleco in 1982, and $25 models started selling all over the United States. Approximately 2.5 million Cabbage Patch Kids were sold in the first year on the market, but, like the fads before it, Cabbage Patch Kids had lost a dominating position in the market by 1985.

The Cabbage Patch Kids had a standard product development stage, but its introduction stage was short. Shortly after hitting the toy store shelves, sales skyrocketed and the product entered the growth stage with full force. It entered the maturity stage when sales starting leveling off and the supply was greater than the demand. In an effort to prevent the product from entering the decline stage, marketers at Coleco experimented with product extensionsbut to no avail. Eventually, profits began to drop and the Cabbage Patch Kids fell into the decline stage. Figure 1 shows the product life cycle of fads.

Fads are generally mysterious both to their creators and to the public. Although their products were unique, Wham-O, Dahl, and Roberts had no idea they would experience such rapid success. Past fads have included the Rubik's Cube, Beanie Babies, and Furbee. Most fads never really completely die, but they never regain their initial popularity. To understand consumer obsessions with fads, marketers must understand consumer buying behavior.

CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR

There are four types of buying behavior: complex buying behavior, dissonance-reducing buying behavior, habitual buying behavior, and variety-seeking buying behavior. Complex buying behavior occurs when the consumer is purchasing something expensive or risky, such as a personal computer. The consumer must learn about the product line, is highly involved in the buying process, and perceives significant differences among brands. Marketers must differentiate their products' features from other brands. Dissonance-reducing buying behavior occurs when an expensive or risky purchase is being made, but the consumer perceives no difference in brands. They may purchase the brand that offers the best price or that is the most convenient to buy. Habitual buying behavior involves low consumer involvement and little concern for brand differences. Variety-seeking buying behavior is characterized by low consumer involvement but significant differences in brands. Consumers displaying this type of buying behavior often switch brands to experience variety rather than because of dissatisfaction.

Fad purchasers display variety-seeking buying behavior. Buyers of Beanie Babies are loyal to the Ty brand; they will not buy competing brands. Many consumers who buy Beanie Babies switch to the next craze when it hits the shelves. PokeMon became the latest fad in 2000, and the variety seekers shifted again to this latest trend. Until consumer demands and obsessions cease to exist, fads are here to stay.

see also Marketing; Promotion

bibliography

Kotler, Philip, and Armstrong, Gary (2005). Principles of Marketing (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Friedrich, Otto (1983, December 12). "The Strange Cabbage Patch Craze". Time, 122.

Jennifer L. Scheffer

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Fads

240. Fads

  1. Barbie doll popular dress-up doll; extremely conventional and feminine. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 179]
  2. Beatle cut hairstyle with bangs, sides trimmed just below ears; banned by many school boards (1960s). [Am Hist.: Sann, 251254]
  3. bee-stung lips ruby red and puckered female mouth make-up (1920s). [Am. Hist.: Griffith, 198]
  4. bobbed hair short, curly boyish hairstyle caused shock (1920s). [Am. Hist.: Griffith, 198]
  5. bobby socks female short socks that epitomized 1940s teen fashion. [Am. Cult.: Misc.]
  6. car-stuffing one example: 23 people stuffed in a Volkswagen bug. (1950s1960s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 300]
  7. chain letters at height in 1930s, craze crippled postal service. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 97104]
  8. coonskin caps raccoon cap with tail worn in recognition of Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone revival (1950s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 30]
  9. flagpole sitting sitting alone at the top of a flagpole; craze comes and goes. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 3946]
  10. frisbees tossing plastic disks was favorite pastime, especially among collegians (1970s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 178]
  11. gold fish-swallowing collegiate craze in 1930s. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 289292]
  12. hip-flask liquor bottle designed to fit into back pockets; indispensable commodity during Prohibition. [Am. Hist.: Allen, 70]
  13. hula hoops large plastic hoops revolved around body by hip action (1950s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 145149]
  14. Kewpie doll designed by Rose ONeill and modeled on her baby brother; millions were made (starting about 1910). [Am. Hist.: WB, 5: 240241]
  15. marathon dancing dance contests, the longest of which lasted 24 weeks and 5 days (1930s). [Am. Hist.: McWhirter, 461]
  16. marathon eating contestants consume ridiculous quantities of food; craze comes and goes. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 7778]
  17. miniskirt skirts hemmed at mid-thigh or higher; heyday of the leg in fashion world (1960s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 255263]
  18. mud baths warm mud applied on skin supposedly to retain fresh, young complexion (1940s). [Am. Hist.: Griffith, 198]
  19. panty raids collegiate craze in the 1940s and 1950s. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
  20. raccoon coats popular attire for collegians (1920s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 175]
  21. rolled stockings worn by flappers to achieve risque effect (1920s). [Am. Hist.: Griffith, 198]
  22. saddle shoes an oxford, usually white, with a saddle of contrasting color, usually brown; a favorite fad of the 1940s and 1950s. [Am. Pop. Culture: Misc.]
  23. Silly Putty synthetic clay; uses ranging from bouncing balls to false mustaches. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 165]
  24. skateboards mini surfboard supported on roller-skate wheels; 1960s craze enjoyed renaissance. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 151152]
  25. telephone booth-stuffing bodies piled on top of one another inside a telephone booth; 1950s and 1960s craze. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 297]
  26. tulipomania tulip craze in Holland during which fortunes were lost. [Eur. Hist.: WB, 19: 394]
  27. yo-yo childs toy that periodically overwhelms publics fancy. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 173]
  28. zoot suits bizarre outfits with the reet pleats (1940s). [Am. Hist.: Sann, 275]

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Fads

150. Fads

See also 254. MANIAS .

dandyism
excessive concern with matters of dress; foppishness. dandy , n.
energumen
a wild enthusiast; a faddist. See also 114. DEMONS .
faddism
an inclination for adopting fads. faddishness , faddist , n. faddish , adj.
mania
a manifestation of intense enthusiasm for something; craze or fad, as musicomania.

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Fads

FADS

Here today, gone tomorrow. It is hard to identify a fad until it has fizzled. Fashion cycles, more generally, vary in speed; fads are those particular fashion cycles that "take us by surprise, but also fade very quickly" (van Ginneken, p. 161). The term "fashion" implies "strong norms" (Crane, p. 1), and although this criterion may also apply to fads, these norms are of shorter duration and within a more limited population. Fred Davis goes so far as to say that fashion itself "somehow manage[s] on first viewing to startle, captivate, offend," but ultimately "engage[s] the sensibilities of some culturally preponderant public, in America the so-called middle mass" (p. 15). By implication, a fad represents a temporary and limited divergence from a more general path of fashionability; the "so-called middle mass" may never approve.

A perusal of academic books in fashion studies over the last decade reveals that the term "fad" itself may have fallen out of style. Even Arthur Berger's text Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture includes little mention of fads. Still, popular media feature lists of "what's hot" versus "what's not." Why aren't these called fads? Perhaps the time-space nexus associated with contemporary fashion cycles is at issue: Influencing the rapidity and scope of "what's hot" are factors such as a global economy, rapid technological change and media influence, "fast fashion" (or speed-to-market production), and a fashion system that combines branded commodities with stylistic diversity among consumers.

Nevertheless, a case can be made for interpreting the concept of fad for its historical, heuristic, and analytical significance. Issues of time, identity, stylistic detail, expression, and emotion all come into play in contemporary life, regardless of what we call the phenomenon in question. Historically, the term has been used to characterize collective behavior that may range from an article of clothing or an accessory (or how it is worn) to a hair-style or other way of grooming. Or, it may describe toys or gadgets, or even activities or practices that do not require consumer purchase. Fads tend to be: (1) of a strikingly new or revolutionary quality that sets them apart from current fashion; (2) short-lived, with a rapid growth in popularity and demise; (3) accepted only in, and intensely popular within, small groups or subcultures; and (4) often "nonessential," "mostly for amusement," or a "passing fancy."

The concept of a fad seems to relate almost as much to who participates as it does to time. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term is related to the earlier concept of fidfad (short for fiddle-faddle). A fidfad, dating back to 1754, was a person who gave "fussy attention to trifles." In the mid-nineteenth century, the terms "fad" and "faddish" were used to refer to shallow or unpredictable patterns of behavior or people.

It is interesting to note that the Oxford English Dictionary has not added new entries for the concept since its 1989 edition. However, it has generated related concepts that deserve careful attention: namely, "trendy" and "fashion victim." Trendiness implies the state of being fashionable and up to date; it also connotes following the latest trend ("sometimes dismissively"). Since the early 1960s, "trendy" and "trendiness" have begun to displace the concept of fad linguistically. By the 1980s, the concept of trendy had become well-entrenched in everyday speech. The connotation of being shallow or narrowly focused persisted; the term still does not describe individuals who are immersed in the larger, "mainstream" issues of the day. Dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the concept of a trend implied divergence from the mainstream—initially in the context of physical or geological manifestations (for example, streams, currents, or valleys). By the 1960s, the idea of trend analysis had taken hold in the social context as well. The idea of a fad was morphing into a "trend."

Aside from issues of intensified speed, media saturation, and identities and intentions, there is the question of who benefits from fads or trends, and how. Accordingly, Marx and McAdam made an analytical distinction between "spontaneous" and "sponsored" fads. The former appear and spread without the involvement (at least initially) of an entrepreneur or business. Usually a spontaneous fad can be pursued without an extensive monetary commitment; it tends to be behavioral in nature. Examples might include goldfish swallowing in the 1920s or "streaking" (running naked) in the 1970s; both of these fads spread and deceased rapidly as trends on college campuses. In contrast, a sponsored fad tends to be consciously promoted; this is probably most obvious when applied to toys or gadgets (for example, the "pet rock" fad of the mid-1970s or the Pog craze of the early 1990s).

Although there may be heuristic reasons for making distinctions between spontaneity and sponsorship in fads (just as there might be similar reasons for distinguishing fads from fashions), the two often become inextricably intertwined, especially in a commodified, branded, and celebrity-oriented consumer culture. First, it is difficult to ascertain in advance what will endure. Second, most fads or trends seem to include a commodity in some way, even (maybe especially) if it is somewhat affordable. Third, what may begin as a spontaneous fad (using the materials one has on hand to modify one's appearance, for example) can quickly become appropriated commercially. The phenomenon of trend spotters, or later, "cool hunters," took hold in the latter part of the twentieth century. Apparently, some analysts were able to spot or hunt trends so as to capitalize on them in some way.

Subcultural style, in particular, is open to such appropriation. In the mid-1970s, British working-class youth experimented with safety pins as accessories, with the use of Vaseline to spike their hair, and with ways of ripping their clothes. These looks were soon appropriated by top fashion designers and the apparel and beauty industries. Similarly, the hip-hop styles of inner-city (often African American) youth in the United States in the late 1970s became mainstream even in the suburbs of white, middle-class youth populations. Both of these examples were innovated by limited segments of society and then became more mainstream. But the time factor does not quite fit the classic definition of a fad. For example, the "sagging" trend associated with hip-hop male pants styles is still a way some young men of various ethnic backgrounds continue to wear their pants at the time of this writing. Whereas some adults might describe this look as a fad, younger people might simply characterize it as a longer-lasting fashion that resonates with some individuals and groups their age.

The approximately 250-year-old concept of fidfad reminds us that a fad is likely to be in the eye of the beholder. For example, when does the tendency to be trendy (or faddish) merge into that of becoming a fashion victim? Not surprisingly, the concept of fashion victim is usually used in a diminutive or depreciative way. The implication is that a fashion victim is susceptible to change, without devoting "serious" thought (as might a connoisseur) to the meaning of that change.

Michelle Lee's 2003 book Fashion Victim, intimates that fashion victim is an inclusive concept—not one confined to certain, limited groups within the population: "The Fashion Victim is all around us. The Hollywood startlet who's personally dressed by Donatella Versace is no less a Fashion Victim than the small-town salesgirl who hops on every fad at her local JC Penney" (p. xi). She goes on to say that a fashion victim is "anyone who has ever looked back at old pictures and cringed" (p. xii).

Fiddle faddle. The concept of a fad is frustrating and difficult to distinguish from fashion in general. Issues of time, identity, fun, commodification, appropriation, looking back, and moving forward all relate to the concept of fad as it has been used historically and analytically. None of these issues is without its own ambiguities. Still, fads, by any name or duration, are likely to remain a part of how we live and change.

See alsoFashion Advertising; Trendsetters .

bibliography

Agins, Teri. The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999.

Berger, Arthur Asa. Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising's Impact on American Character and Society. 2nd ed. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2004.

Crane, Diana. Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Davis, Fred. Fashion, Culture, and Identity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

George, Nelson. Hip Hop America. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.

Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. New York: Routledge, 1979.

Hoffman, Frank W., and William G. Bailey. Fashion and Merchandising Fads. New York: Harrington Park Press, 1994.

Kaiser, Susan B., Richard H. Nagasawa, and Sandra S. Hutton. "Fashion, Postmodernity, and Personal Appearance: A Symbolic Interactionist Formulation." Symbolic Interaction 14, no. 2 (1991): 165–185.

——. "Construction of an SI Theory of Fashion: Part 1. Ambivalence and Change." Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 13, no. 3 (1995): 172–183.

Lee, Michelle. Fashion Victim: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Dressing, Shopping, and the Cost of Style. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.

Marx, Gary T., and Douglas McAdam. Collective Behavior and Social Movements: Process and Structure. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1994.

Meyersohn, R., and E. Katz. "Notes on a Natural History of Fads." American Journal of Sociology 62 (1957): 594–601.

More, Booth. "Going Von Dutch." Los Angeles Times, 2 January 2004.

Nystrom, Paul H. Economics of Fashion. New York: Ronald Press, 1928.

Sproles, George B., and Leslie D. Burns. Changing Appearances. New York: Fairchild, 1994.

Van Ginneken, Jaap. Collective Behavior and Public Opinion: Rapid Shifts in Opinion and Communication. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003.

Susan B. Kaiser,

Joyce Heckman,

and Denise Kastrinakis

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Fads

FADS

A distinguishing characteristic of fads is quickness of rise and fall in popularity in concert with wide-ranging distribution. The fad itself is marked by play-like, leisure, or recreation associations, linked to desire rather than goals. Fads speak to wants rather than needs, and thus fit well in the areas of fashion, style, taste, and cultural preference.

Because fads are necessarily observable and communicable, they are typically identified as artifacts, behaviors, beliefs, materials, or objects. While they may exist with substantial interest and intensity, fads may usefully be defined as being short-lived and ultimately transient in nature. Because speed is so closely associated with the distribution of fads within a social setting, it is unlikely that they existed in pre-industrial times, at least in the form known in the early 2000s.

As a result, fads act as powerful elements of culture, quickly moving through it, free of apparent utility yet responding to traditional market forces. If local area shortages exist, grey market or even black market provision may come into being, mediating the demand for supply and reflecting popular demand for the fad material. Fads are often strongly embraced by participants, while the nonparticipating observer fails to understand the motivation involved, or the justification for the resources consumed.

Moreover, it may be difficult to differentiate among legitimate innovation, cultural diffusion, taste evolution, technological transition, tradition, routine self-expressive action and activity, and fad. Fads may burst into prominence, recede greatly from public view, and then settle into a niche of longtime use, perhaps to become a tradition of sorts. For example, hoola-hoops, a great fad of the 1950s, and Frisbees (the popular brand name of flying disks), enormously popular in the late 1960s, have become amusing, traditional items for young people and teens in the early twenty-first century. Apparently, the inherent enjoyment of these objects was durable and crossgenerational.

In the 1970s, the number of eight-track cassette tape systems rose rapidly and dramatically, and then fell just as precipitously when better technology was introduced. In the last three decades of the twentieth century, racqueteball clubs opened all over the nation, and the sport of racquetball became enormously popular. By the 1990s, many of these businesses had failed, and racquetball became just another game on the sports scene.

The miniaturization of electronic devices—such as the Sony Walkman radio and cassette tape player—that allowed commuters to enjoy their own music in private spread widely in the general population, predictably so because such devices solved an existing problem. These small machines sold rapidly when they came out in the early 1980s and were marketed with a great deal of attention to design and style, and they also offered a practical and useful response to an environmental condition.

Such combinations of style and practicality can also be found in fashion. In Renaissance Venice, chopine stilt shoes elevated women above the wet ground. These shoes then became popular again in the 1960s and once again in the 1990s, illustrating an example of a fashion-based fad.

The published history of the "pet rock" fad, which may not be entirely accurate, offers insight into the transit of the phenomena. In 1975, Gary Dahl, apocryphally following a conversation about the hardship involved in caring for living pets, invented the "pet rock." Dahl crafted a clever handbook wittily describing the tongue-in-cheek care of one's large pebble (described in written accounts as a "Rosarita beach stone"), and ensconced the new pet in shredded padding in a special little box reminiscent of a pet carrier. The promoter pitched the gimmick at the San Francisco gift fair and soon enough, media coverage bloomed. Dahl's unusual idea was the focus of a half-page article in Newsweek, and he was invited for two visits on The Tonight Show. Sales went through the roof, and the promoter "reportedly" sold millions of dollars worth of pet rocks.

Three Elements Encourage Fads to Exist

Presuming fads are undertaken for fun, or as self-expression, they will more likely exist if alternative, traditional ways of living have changed, are in a process of change, or are undergoing a period particularly receptive to embracing the "new." Fads must be communicated through the host population—the people who follow the fad—rapidly, so communications must be expedient. In the case of goods, the objects or material must be plentiful enough to be commonly available or reasonably accessible.

Historically, two important and closely-linked events took place that set the stage for fads to become a commonplace part of contemporary life. The distribution of the nation's people changed radically with the emergence of cities as the centers of employment, and an enormous increase in goods and services was made available due to the evolution of the factory system.

For fads to flourish, the host group must be receptive, and the means of production and the means and method of consumption must be supportive. During World War II, in the United States, fads tied to manufactured goods were rare, because industrial production was turned to satisfying the needs of the war effort. Following the war, that extraordinary productive capacity existed in a time of well-resourced consumers. Predictably, fads involving manufactured goods became more common.

The phenomena of fads seems far less common, perhaps rare or even virtually nonexistent, during the pre-industrial period. During that period, there was little time for something seemingly as frivolous as a fad (which often does not lead to the betterment of society). Change and innovation certainly occurred, and people did alter the way they behaved, but such changes happened slowly, and only after it was proven that there was a need for a change. For example, a new plow might be invented and adapted, but only after it was shown to be an improvement over the previous plow. The industrial revolution, however, lead to the ability, and the need, to produce nonnecessary goods, which could be cheaply introduced into the marketplace. The introduction and great expansion of wage work created the opportunity to commodify many traditional features of agricultural life. In fact, in time, virtually all features of agricultural life would be commodified: patterns of labor, entertainment, folk manufacturing, and foods and beverages (for example, the advent of pasteurization allowed the canning of fruit juice and related health benefits).

The circumstances of the industrial revolution lead to active social change that fundamentally altered—and often extinguished—competing or alternative forms of entertainment, leisure, recreation, and self-expression. Some traditional rural pastimes conflicted with the needs of the factory system, and such pastime tended to be resistant to commercialization and the control of the ever more powerful industrial-merchant class. For example, wages spent on prostitution, street corner gambling, or other ad hoc vice could not also be spent buying manufactured goods or services on the legitimate market.

Urbanization accompanying industrialization pulled rural populations toward the high-density areas; the invention of sophisticated mechanical farm machinery foreshadowed that those populations would begin to be pushed away from rural areas by dwindling labor demands. Although family relationships and interrelationships are never static, to many observers the changes taking place at that time were new and dangerous. Structural changes took place, with the working class adapting to new circumstances through a typical vocabulary of appropriation, hybridization and reconstitution, resistance, and subsumation. That is, the working class took over ideas it came into contact with, as people blended their own ways of doing things with new ways; alternately, they resisted making any change or they buried cultural habits out of sight.

As an example of this, amateur naturalism bloomed in the late 1800s as an enormous fad on the coattails of the cheap manufacture of nature and travel books. The ability to act on the impulse to become a "serious amateur" was provided by the invention of fast transportation to and from the countryside via steam rail.

Rural settings became identified with expressive leisure instead of labor, as it was for agricultural workers. Moreover, rail business bosses understood that by providing an incentive to travel, they added a new market to the existing profit-making services. Indeed, it was a powerful amalgam of agendas—influential hunters and transportation barons—that shouldered legislation into being that created the nation's astonishing treasure of parks and natural or wilderness lands. The bubble of amateur naturalism burst soon enough, but the invented industry of leisure and recreation travel is the world's second biggest business in the early 2000s.

Fads: Means and Methods, Opportunity, and Motivation

It might be argued that fads have always existed, that they were just quieter, smaller, and restricted in geography prior to the means, methods, and opportunity for the phenomena to be expansive and broadly distributed. However, although there is no accepted etymology for the word "fad," the record seems to show that it first appears on or very shortly after 1867. In the contemporary meaning, fads are seen as having characteristics that can only exist under certain conditions, and they are closely related to leisure—done only for self-expression. Perhaps, as with hoola-hoop, pet rocks, or short-lived "celebrity diets," it is useful to consider magnitude. The more fully and powerfully the behavior, event, or item fits the defining characteristics, the higher the confidence that it may usefully be categorized as a legitimate fad.

Fads can be predicted to come into being when the ability to participate and the presence of the necessary elements co-exist with the willingness for an individual, as a member of a participant group, to take part. In industrialized settings, this is clearly seen by the production of goods or services, and by the ability of the consumer to respond. Because consumers can alter, combine, usurp, resist, and otherwise respond in ways differently from the provider's intention, fads might well involve an unusual or innovative use of a product or service. Thus, a fad can be said to be a type of leisure that has no intended goal beyond self-expression. Fads may be, at the same time, recreation. But, since the fad can conceivably increase risk or jeopardy for the participant, fads may also absolutely fail the requirement that recreation be "good for" the participant.

See also: Commercialization of Leisure; Contemporary Leisure Patterns; Fashions; Leisure, Theory of

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bourdin, Ruth. Women and Temperance: The Quest for Power and Liberty, 1873–1900. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1990.

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Donlon, Jon G. "A Travel Model In The Runway Setting: Strip-Tease As Exotic Destination." In Sex Tourism And Prostitution: Aspects Of Leisure, Recreation, And Work. Edited by Martin Oppermann. Elmsford, New York; Cammeray, Australia; and Tokyo: Cognizant Communication Corporation, 1998.

Flaherty, David H. "Law and the Enforcement of Morals in Early America." Perspectives in American History 5 (1971): 203–253.

Gay, Peter. Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience—Victoria to Freud. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1998.

Hobson, Barbara Meil. Uneasy Virtue: The Politics of Prostitution and the American Reform Tradition. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1987.

MacLeod, David I. Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners 1870–1920. Madison and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983.

Nielsen, Alen. The Great Victorian Sacrilege: Preachers, Politics and the Passion, 1879–1884. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland and Company, 1991.

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Sweetman, David. Explosive Acts: Toulouse-Lautrec, Oscar Wilde, Felix Feneon and the Art and Anarchy of the Fin De Siecle. New York and London: Simon and Schuster, 1999.

Jon Griffin Donlon

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