The Consumer Society

The Consumer Society

The developed countries, particularly the United States, consume a disproportionate share of the world's resources, yet high and rising levels of consumption do not necessarily lead to greater satisfaction, security, or well-being, even for affluent consumers.The Consumer Society provides brief summaries of the most important and influential writings on the environmental, moral, and social implications of a consumer society and consumer lifestyles. Each section consists of ten to twelve summaries of critical writings in a specific area, with an introductory essay that outlines the state of knowledge in that area and indicates where further research is needed. Sections cover: Scope and Definition Consumption in the Affluent Society Family, Gender, and Socialization The History of Consumerism Foundations of Economic Theories of Consumption Critiques and Alternatives in Economic Theory Perpetuating Consumer Culture: Media, Advertising, and Wants Creation Consumption and the Environment Globalization and Consumer Culture Visions of an Alternative This book is the second volume in the Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series, which provides surveys of the most significant writings in emergent areas of economics -- an invaluable aid in fast-growing fields where genuine new ground is being broken. The series brings together economists, sociologists, psychologists, and philosophers to develop analyses that challenge and enrich the dominant neoclassical paradigm.The Consumer Society is an essential guide to and summary of the literature of consumption and will be of interest to anyone concerned with the deeper economic, social, and ethical implications of consumerism.

Collecting in a Consumer Society

Collecting in a Consumer Society

This groundbreaking book examines the relationship between the development of the consumer society and the rise of collecting by individuals and institutions. Rusell Belk considers how and why people collect, as individuals, corporations and museums, and the impact this collecting has on us and our culture. Collecting in a Consumer Society outlines the history of museum collecting from ancient civilizations to the present. It also looks at aspects of consumer culture - advertizing, department stores, mass merchandizing, consumer desires, and how this relates to the activity of collecting. Collecting in a Consumer Society is the first book to focus on collecting as material consumption. This is a provocative and engaging book, essential reading for anyone involved with the process of collecting.

Consumer Society and the Post-modern City

Consumer Society and the Post-modern City

The fact that we inhabit a consumer society has incredibly far-reaching implications. Working through the often controversial ideas of the consumer society's most influential theorists, Jean Baudrillard and Zygmunt Bauman, this book assesses the ways in which consumerism is reshaping the nature and meaning of the city. It examines the nature of consumption and its increasing centrality to post-modern society by; *considering the development of consumerism as a central facet of social life *demonstrating that social inequalities are increasingly structured around consumption *uncovering the hidden consequences of consumerism *pondering the meaning of lifestyle *revealing how the nature of reality is changing in an age of globalization. Employing a sustained and engaging theoretical analysis, the book ranges across a variety of sometimes unexpected topics. It represents an impassioned plea for everyone interested in the social life of cities to take the notion of the consumer society - and the arguments of its major theorists - seriously.

Why I Buy

Self, Taste, and Consumer Society in America

Why I Buy

Why do we buy? How do our acts of—and ideas about—consumption impact our selves, our institutions, and our societies? An incisive response to these questions, Why I Buy explains how consumption came to give meaning and value to social and personal life. Balancing psychological, conceptual, and historical analyses with examples drawn from popular culture and mass media, Rami Gabriel traces the ways in which beliefs about the self—including dualism, individualism, and expressivism—influence consumer behavior. These understandings of the self, Gabriel argues, structure the values that Americans seek and find in consumer society; they therefore have structural consequences for our cultural, political, and economic lives. For example, Gabriel describes how imbalances in the institutions of participatory politics have directly resulted from a consumer society centered on powerful nongovernmental institutions and a scattered body of disengaged citizens whose social and individual needs are not primarily satisfied through civic involvement. By exploring the relationship between our individual needs and our institutions, Gabriel ultimately points the way toward transformations that could lead to a more sustaining and sustainable society.

Consumer Society in American History

A Reader

Consumer Society in American History

This volume offers the most comprehensive and incisive exploration of American consumer history to date, spanning the four centuries from the colonial era to the present.

The Consumer Society Reader

The Consumer Society Reader

The Consumer Society Reader features a range of key works on the nature and evolution of consumer society. Included here is much-discussed work by leading critics such as Jean Baudrillard, Susan Bordo, Dick Hebdige, bell hooks, and Janice Radway. Also included is a full range of classics, such as Frankfurt School writers Adorno and Horkheimer on the Culture Industry; Thorstein Veblen's oft-cited writings on "conspicuous consumption"; Betty Friedan on the housewife's central role in consumer society; John Kenneth Galbraith's influential analysis of the "affluent society"; and Pierre Bourdieu on the notion of "taste." "Consumer society--the 'air we breathe,' as George Orwell has described it--disappears during economic downtruns and political crises. It becomes visible again when prosperity seems secure, cultural transformation is too rapid, or enviornmental disasters occur. Such is the time in which we now find ourselves. As the roads clog with gas-guzzling SUVs and McMansions proliferate in the suburbs, the nation is once again asking fundamental questions about lifestyle. Has 'luxury fever,' to use Robert Frank's phrase, gotten out of hand? Are we really comfortable with the 'Brand Is Me' mentality? Have we gone too far in pursuit of the almighty dollar, to the detriment of our families, communities, and natural enviornment? Even politicians, ordinarily impermeable to questions about consumerism, are voicing doubts... [and] polls suggest majorities of Americans feel the country has become too materialistic, too focused on getting and spending, and increasingly removed from long-standing non-materialist values." —From the introduction by Douglas B. Holt and Juliet B. Schor

Being Human in a Consumer Society

Being Human in a Consumer Society

This book offers a new perspective on sociological studies of the consumer society, introducing neglected normative questions relating to the good life and human flourishing - subjects more commonly discussed in fields of moral, political, and social philosophy. With attention to a wide range of subjects, including postemotional law and responsibility, dehumanised consumption and prosumerism, fashion, embodiment, conspicuous consumption, and sustainability, this book analyzes the structural and cultural transformations that can be identified in consumer society. It also offers a critical view of whether consumption is leading to an increased isolation, individualization or commodification of human beings, suggesting an analytical framework for understanding consumer culture and human praxis.

Consumer Society

Critical Issues & Environmental Consequences

Consumer Society

Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here What factors are contributing to the continuing growth in consumption of goods and services? At what point do the costs associated with consumerism begin to call our way of life into question? How are the problems of resource depletion, waste and pollution, and environmental impact being addressed? What is to be done about the consequences of our all-consuming way of life? Ever-increasing consumption and a relentless pursuit of growth in output are the twin pillars on which the modern economy and contemporary social life rest. But the consumer way of life is globally unsustainable. We can't all live the consumer dream. This comprehensive, lively and informative book will quickly be recognized as a benchmark in the field. It brings together a huge set of resources for thinking about the development of consumer culture, its defining features, and global consequences. Adept in handling a complex range of classical and contemporary theoretical sources, the book draws on an impressive range of comparative material and provides a variety of contemporary examples to inform and enhance understanding of our consuming way of life. Smart writes with verve and feeling and has produced a stimulating book that enlarges our understanding of consumer culture and provides a timely critical analysis of its consequences. Clear, engaging, and original this book will be essential reading for all those interested in and concerned about our global culture of consumption including researchers and students in sociology, politics, cultural studies, economics, and social geography.

Advertising and Consumer Society

A Critical Introduction

Advertising and Consumer Society

An introduction to the critical study of advertising, exploring its role in our contemporary cultural landscape and its connections to larger economic, social and political forces. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book provides students with the key concepts, methods and debates you need to analyse and understand advertising.

The Consumer Society

The Consumer Society

Tavistock Press was established as a co-operative venture between the Tavistock Institute and Routledge & Kegan Paul (RKP) in the 1950s to produce a series of major contributions across the social sciences. This volume is part of a 2001 reissue of a selection of those important works which have since gone out of print, or are difficult to locate. Published by Routledge, 112 volumes in total are being brought together under the name The International Behavioural and Social Sciences Library: Classics from the Tavistock Press. Reproduced here in facsimile, this volume was originally published in 1977 and is available individually. The collection is also available in a number of themed mini-sets of between 5 and 13 volumes, or as a complete collection.