For love of greed: tracing the early history of consumer culture

Project Summary

We apply word embedding models to corpora from the start of the Early Modern period, when the market economy began to dramatically expand in England. Word embedding models use neural networks to map vectors to words so that semantic relationships are preserved within the vectors’ geometry. Such models have been successful in understanding cultural trends and stereotypes in large corpora of texts, but these techniques are infrequently used on texts dating much farther back than the 19th century. Using newly developed methods for analyzing word embeddings, we track the development of the meanings of words related to consumerism, including their relationships with gender over time.

Themes and Categories
Year
2020
Contact
Paul Bendich
Mathematics
bendich@math.duke.edu

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