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America's economic revolution isn't just driven by technology. It's about markets.The past twenty-five years have witnessed a remarkable shift in how we get the stuff we want. If you've ever owned a business, rented an apartment, or shopped online, you've had a front-row seat for this revolution-in-progress. Breakthrough companies like Amazon and Uber have disrupted the old ways and made the economy work better,all thanks to technology.At least that's how the story of the modern economy is usually told. But in this lucid, wry book, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan show that the revolution is bigger than tech: it is really a story about the transformation of markets. From the auction theories that power Google's ad sales algorithms to the models that online retailers use to prevent internet fraud, even the most high-tech modern businesses are empowered by theory first envisioned by economists.And we're all participants in this revolution. Every time you book a room on Airbnb, hire a car on Lyft, or click on an ad, you too are reshaping our social institutions and our lives. The Inner Lives of Markets is necessary reading for the modern world: it reveals the blueprint for how we work, live, and shop, and offers wisdom for how to do it better.
In Cote d'Ivoire, appearing modern is so important for success that many young men deplete their already meager resources to project an illusion of wealth in a fantastic display of Western imitation, spending far more than they can afford on brand name clothing, accessories, technology, and a robust nightlife. Such imitation, however, is not primarily meant to deceive - rather, as Sasha Newell argues in "The Modernity Bluff", it is an explicit performance so valued in Cote d'Ivoire it has become a matter of national pride. Called bluffeurs, these young urban men operate in a system of cultural economy where reputation is essential for financial success. That reputation is measured by familiarity with and access to the fashionable and expensive, which leads to a paradoxical state of affairs in which the wasting of wealth is essential to its accumulation. Using the consumption of Western goods to express their cultural mastery over Western taste, Newell argues, bluffeurs engage a global hierarchy that is profoundly modern, one that values performance over authenticity - highlighting the counterfeit nature of modernity itself.
The iPhone has revolutionized not only how people communicate but also how we consume and produce culture. Combining traditional and social media with mobile connectivity, smartphones have redefined and expanded the dimensions of everyday life, allowing individuals to personalize media as they move and process constant flows of data. Today, millions of consumers love and live by their iPhones, but what are the implications of its special technology on society, media, and culture?
Featuring an eclectic mix of original essays, "Moving Data" explores the iPhone as technological prototype, lifestyle gadget, and platform for media creativity. Media experts, cultural critics, and scholars consider the device's newness and usability -- even its "lickability" -- and its "biographical" story. The book illuminates patterns of consumption; the fate of solitude against smartphone ubiquity; the economy of the App Store and its perceived "crisis of choice"; and the distance between the accessibility of digital information and the protocols governing its use. Alternating between critical and conceptual analyses, essays link the design of participatory media to the iPhone's technological features and sharing routines, and they follow the extent to which the pleasures of gesture-based interfaces are redefining media use and sensory experience. They also consider how user-led innovations, collaborative mapping, and creative empowerment are understood and reconciled through changes in mobile surveillance, personal rights, and prescriptive social software. Presenting a range of perspectives and arguments, this book reorients the practice and study of media critique.
What forces shaped the twentieth-century world? Capitalism and communism are usually seen as engaged in a fight-to-the-death during the Cold War. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party aimed to end capitalism. Karl Gerth argues that despite the socialist rhetoric of class warfare and egalitarianism, Communist Party policies actually developed a variety of capitalism and expanded consumerism. This negated the goals of the Communist Revolution across the Mao era (1949-1976) down to the present. Through topics related to state attempts to manage what people began to desire - wristwatches and bicycles, films and fashion, leisure travel and Mao badges - Gerth challenges fundamental assumptions about capitalism, communism, and countries conventionally labeled as socialist. In so doing, his provocative history of China suggests how larger forces related to the desire for mass-produced consumer goods reshaped the twentieth-century world and remade people's lives.
Shopping is generally considered to be a pleasurable activity. But
in reality it can often be complicated and frustrating. Daniel
Miller explores the many contradictions faced by shoppers on a
typical street in London, and in the process offers a sophisticated
examination of the way we shop, and what it reveals about our
relationships to our families and communities, as well as to the
environment and the economy as a whole.
In this wide-ranging and perceptive work of cultural criticism, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter shatter the most important myth that dominates much of radical political, economic, and cultural thinking. The idea of a counterculture -- a world outside of the consumer-dominated world that encompasses us -- pervades everything from the antiglobalization movement to feminism and environmentalism. And the idea that mocking or simply hoping the "system" will collapse, the authors argue, is not only counterproductive but has helped to create the very consumer society radicals oppose.
In a lively blend of pop culture, history, and philosophical analysis, Heath and Potter offer a startlingly clear picture of what a concern for social justice might look like without the confusion of the counterculture obsession with being different.
In this highly informative and entertaining book, the founder of the vibrant new field of evolutionary consumption illuminates the relevance of our biological heritage to our daily lives as consumers. While culture is important, the author shows that innate evolutionary forces deeply influence the foods we eat, the gifts we offer, the cosmetics and clothing styles we choose to make ourselves more attractive to potential mates, and even the cultural products that stimulate our imaginations (such as art, music, and religion). The book demonstrates that most acts of consumption can be mapped onto four key Darwinian drives-namely, survival (we prefer foods high in calories); reproduction (we use products as sexual signals); kin selection (we naturally exchange gifts with family members); and reciprocal altruism (we enjoy offering gifts to close friends). The author further highlights the analogous behaviors that exist between human consumers and a wide range of animals.For anyone interested in the biological basis of human behavior or simply in what makes consumers tick-marketing professionals, advertisers, psychology mavens, and consumers themselves-this is a fascinating read.
The question of consumption emerged as a major focus of research and scholarship in the 1990s but the breadth and diversity of consumer culture has not been fully enough explored. The meanings of consumption, particularly in relation to lifestyle and identity, are of great importance to academic areas including business studies, sociology, cultural and media studies, psychology, geography and politics. The SAGE Handbook of Consumer Culture is a one-stop resource for scholars and students of consumption, where the key dimensions of consumer culture are critically discussed and articulated. The editors have organised contributions from a global and interdisciplinary team of scholars into six key sections: Part 1: Sociology of Consumption Part 2: Geographies of Consumer Culture Part 3: Consumer Culture Studies in Marketing Part 4: Consumer Culture in Media and Cultural Studies Part 5: Material Cultures of Consumption Part 6: The Politics of Consumer Culture
Ethical consumption, fair trade, consumer protests, brand backlashes, green goods, boycotts and downshifting: these are all now familiar consumer activities - and in some cases, are almost mainstream. They are part of the expanding field of 'radical consumption' in a world where we are encouraged to shop for change.
. . But just how radical are these forms of consumption? This book offers an interdisciplinary approach to examining contemporary radical consumption, analyzing its possibilities and problems, moralities, methods of mediation and its connections to wider cultural formations of production and politics.
. . Jo Littler argues that we require a more expansive vocabulary and to open up new approaches of enquiry in order to understand the area's many contradictions, strengths and weaknesses. Drawing on a number of contemporary theories, terms and debates in media and cultural studies, she uses a range of specific case studies to bring theory to life.
. . By analysing practices of radical consumption, the book explores a number of key questions: . . Is ethical consumption merely a sop for the middle classes?. What are the contradictions of green consumption?. Should we understand corporate social responsibility as a form of consumer-oriented greenwash? . Who benefits from the new forms of cosmopolitan caring consumption?. Can such forms of consumption ever move beyond their niche market status to become an effective political force? . Can we really buy our way to a better, more equitable or sustainable future? . . "Radical Consumption" is important reading for cultural, media and sociology students..
Longtime leader in the luxury goods sector and former Chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton North America reinvents the art and science of brand-building under the rubric of Aesthetic Intelligence. In a world in which people have cheap and easy access to most goods and services, yet crave richer and more meaningful experiences, aesthetics has become a key differentiator for most companies and a critical factor of their success and even their survival. In this groundbreaking book, Pauline Brown, a former leader of the world's top luxury goods company and a pioneer in identifying the role of aesthetics in business, shows executives, entrepreneurs, and other professionals how to harness the power of the senses to create products, services, and experiences that stand out, resonate with their customers, and create long-term value for their businesses. The power is rooted in Aesthetic Intelligence-or "the other AI," as Brown refers to it. Aesthetic Intelligence can be learned. Indeed, people are born with far more capacity than they use, but even those that are naturally gifted must continue to refine their skills, lest their aesthetic advantage atrophy. Through a combination of storytelling and practical advice, the author shows how aesthetic intelligence creates business value and how executives, entrepreneurs and others can boost their own AI and successfully apply it to business. Brown offers research, strategies and practical exercises focused on four essential AI skills. Aesthetic Intelligence provides a crucial roadmap to help business leaders build their businesses in their own authentic and distinctive way. Aesthetic Intelligence is about creating delight, lifting the human spirit, and rousing the imagination through sensorial experiences.
Balkan Blues explores how a state transitions from the collectivized production and distribution of socialism to the consumer-focused culture of capitalism. Yuson Jung considers the state as an economic agent in upholding rights and responsibilities in the shift to a global market. Taking Bulgaria as her focus, Jung shows how impoverished Bulgarians developed a consumer-oriented society and how the concept of "need" adapted in surprising ways to accommodate this new culture. Different legal frameworks arose to ensure the rights of vulnerable or deceived consumers. Consumer advocacy NGOs and government officers scrambled to navigate unfamiliar EU-imposed models for consumer affairs departments. All of these changes involved issues of responsibility, accountability, and civic engagement, which brought Bulgarians new ways of viewing both their identities and their sense of agency. Yet these opportunities also raised questions of inequality, injustice, and social stratification. Jung's study provides a compelling argument for reconsidering of the role of the state in the construction of 21st-century consumer cultures.
What is the relationship between gender and consumerism? Jennifer Scanlon gathers a collection of readings and archival materials to explore the multiple and contradictory ways in which women and men consume. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural in scope, The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader introduces the reader to some of the most compelling issues and arguments in this growing field of study. In questioning traditional ways of analyzing the relationships between gender and consumer culture, these essays analyze the liberatory and oppressive nature of consumer culture in both historical and contemporary contexts.
The scholars gathered here look at the gendered relationship between the home and consumer culture, individual and group identity through purchasing, the supply side of consumer culture, and the ways in which consumers embrace, resist, and manipulate the messages and the activities of consumer culture. Topics range from white middle-class female shoplifters to the gendered depiction of Native Americans in nineteenth-century advertising, from gay men's acquisition of domestic space in early twentieth-century New York to black and Latino men's cultural resistance through dress. Archival materials link the essays in each section, creating a further historical context, and providing a connection between the readings and larger questions and issues currently being debated about gender and consumer culture.
Contributors include Andrew Heinze, Erika Rappaport, George Chauncey, Steven M. Gelber, Jeffrey Steele, Ann McClintock, Robert E. Weems, Jr., Lillian Faderman, Malcolm Gladwell, Jennifer Scanlon, Lizabeth Cohen, Jane Bryce, Susan J. Douglas, Kenon Breazeale, Kathy Peiss, Elaine S. Abelson, Natasha B. Barnes, Danae Clark, Stuart Cosgrove.
Most of us who live in the North and the West consume far too much - too much meat, too much fat, too much sugar, too much salt. We are more likely to put on too much weight than to go hungry. We live in a society that is heading for a crash. We are aware of what is happening and yet we refuse to take it fully into account. Above all we refuse to address the issue that lies at the heart of our problems - namely, the fact that our societies are based on an economy whose only goal is growth for growth's sake.
Serge Latouche argues that we need to rethink from the very foundations the idea that our societies should be based on growth. He offers a radical alternative - a society of 'de-growth'. De-growth is not the same thing as negative growth. We should be talking about 'a-growth', in the sense in which we speak of 'a-theism'. And we do indeed have to abandon a faith or religion - that of the economy, progress and development--and reject the irrational and quasi-idolatrous cult of growth for growth's sake.
While many realize that that the never-ending pursuit of growth is incompatible with a finite planet, we have yet to come to terms with the implications of this - the need to produce less and consume less. But if we do not change course, we are heading for an ecological and human disaster. There is still time to imagine, quite calmly, a system based upon a different logic, and to plan for a 'de-growth society'.
This book aims to provide comprehensive empirical and theoretical studies of expanding fandom communities in East Asia through the commodification of Japanese, Korean and Chinese popular cultures in the digital era. Using a multidisciplinary approach including political economy, East Asian studies, political science, international relations concepts and history, this book focuses on a few research objectives. In terms of methodology, it is an area studies approach based on interpretative work, observation studies, policy and textual analysis. First, it aims to examine the closely intertwined relationship between the three major stakeholders in the iron triangle of production companies, consumers and states (i.e., role of government in policy promotion). Second, it studies the interpenetration, adaptation, innovation and hybridization of exogenous Western culture with traditional popular cultures in (North) East Asia. Third, it studies the influence of popular cultures and how cultural products resonate with a regional audience through collective consumption, contents reflective of normative values, the emotive and cognitive appeal of familiar images and social learning as well as peer effect found in fan communities. It then examines how consumption contributes to soft cultural influence and how governments leverage on its comparative advantages and cultural assets for commercial success and in the process augment national (cultural) influence. These questions will be discussed and analyzed and contextualized through the case studies of J-pop (Japanese popular culture), K-pop (Korean popular culture or Hallyu) and Chinese popular culture (including Mando-pop and Taiwanese popular culture).
From food products to fashions and cosmetics to children's toys, a wide range of commodities today are being marketed as "halal" (permitted, lawful) or "Islamic" to Muslim consumers both in the West and in Muslim-majority nations. However, many of these products are not authentically Islamic or halal, and their producers have not necessarily created them to honor religious practice or sentiment. Instead, most "halal" commodities are profit-driven, and they exploit the rise of a new Islamic economic paradigm, "Brand Islam," as a clever marketing tool. Brand Islam investigates the rise of this highly lucrative marketing strategy and the resulting growth in consumer loyalty to goods and services identified as Islamic. Faegheh Shirazi explores the reasons why consumers buy Islam-branded products, including conspicuous piety or a longing to identify with a larger Muslim community, especially for those Muslims who live in Western countries, and how this phenomenon is affecting the religious, cultural, and economic lives of Muslim consumers. She demonstrates that Brand Islam has actually enabled a new type of global networking, joining product and service sectors together in a huge conglomerate that some are referring to as the Interland. A timely and original contribution to Muslim cultural studies, Brand Islam reveals how and why the growth of consumerism, global communications, and the Westernization of many Islamic countries are all driving the commercialization of Islam.
Race has long shaped shopping experiences for many Americans. Retail exchanges and establishments have made headlines as flashpoints for conflict not only between blacks and whites, but also between whites, Mexicans, Asian Americans, and a wide variety of other ethnic groups, who have at times found themselves unwelcome at white-owned businesses. Race and Retail documents the extent to which retail establishments, both past and present, have often catered to specific ethnic and racial groups. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the original essays collected here explore selling and buying practices of nonwhite populations around the world and the barriers that shape these habits, such as racial discrimination, food deserts, and gentrification. The contributors highlight more contemporary issues by raising questions about how race informs business owners' ideas about consumer demand, resulting in substandard quality and higher prices for minorities than in predominantly white neighborhoods. In a wide-ranging exploration of the subject, they also address revitalization and gentrification in South Korean and Latino neighborhoods in California, Arab and Turkish coffeehouses and hookah lounges in South Paterson, New Jersey, and tourist capoeira consumption in Brazil. Race and Retail illuminates the complex play of forces at work in racialized retail markets and the everyday impact of those forces on minority consumers. The essays demonstrate how past practice remains in force in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
Jean Baudrillard's classic text was one of the first to focus on the process and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. Originally published in 1970, the book makes a vital contribution to current debates on consumption. The book includes Baudrillard's most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure, and anomie in affluent society. A chapter on the body demonstrates Baudrillard's extraordinary prescience for flagging vital subjects in contemporary culture long before others. This English translation begins with a new introductory essay.
This work shows how companies can avoid commoditization by delivering superior customer value. It provides an account of what a company must do and how to go about doing it in each critical area. It utilizes numerous vignettes and mini-cases drawn from several large and medium-sized companies to illustrate its points and shows the application of frameworks, models, concepts and techniques.
Luxury. The word alone conjures up visions of visions of attractive, desirable lifestyle choices, yet it also faces criticism as a moral vice harmful to both the self and society. Engaging with ideas from business, marketing, and economics, The Vice of Luxury takes on the challenging task of naming how much is too much in today's consumer-oriented society. David Cloutier's critique goes to the heart of a fundamental contradiction. Though overconsumption and materialism make us uneasy, they also seem inevitable in advanced economies. Current studies of economic ethics focus on the structural problems of poverty, of international trade, of workers' rights -- but rarely, if ever, do such studies speak directly to the excesses of the wealthy, including the middle classes of advanced economies. Cloutier proposes a new approach to economic ethics that focuses attention on our everyday economic choices. He shows why luxury is a problem, explains how to identify what counts as the vice of luxury today, and develops an ethic of consumption that is grounded in Christian moral convictions.
Zygmunt Bauman is one of the most admired social thinkers of our time. Once a Marxist sociologist, he has surrendered the narrowness of both Marxism and sociology, and dares to write in language that ordinary people can understand--about problems they feel ill equipped to solve. This book is no dry treatise but is instead what Bauman calls "a report from a battlefield," part of the struggle to find new and adequate ways of thinking about the world in which we live. Rather than searching for solutions to what are perhaps the insoluble problems of the modern world, Bauman proposes that we reframe the way we think about these problems. In an era of routine travel, where most people circulate widely, the inherited beliefs that aid our thinking about the world have become an obstacle.
Bauman seeks to liberate us from the thinking that renders us hopeless in the face of our own domineering governments and threats from unknown forces abroad. He shows us we can give up belief in a hierarchical arrangement of states and powers. He challenges members of the "knowledge class" to overcome their estrangement from the rest of society. Gracefully, provocatively, Bauman urges us to think in new ways about a newly flexible, newly challenging modern world. As Bauman notes, quoting Vaclav Havel, "hope is not a prognostication." It is, rather, alongside courage and will, a mundane, common weapon that is too seldom used.
"A Year Without "Made in China"" provides you with a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining account of how the most populous nation on Earth influences almost every aspect of our daily lives. Drawing on her years as an award-winning journalist, author Sara Bongiorni fills this book with engaging stories and anecdotes of her family's attempt to outrun China's reach-by boycotting Chinese made products-and does a remarkable job of taking a decidedly big-picture issue and breaking it down to a personal level.
Consumers, manufacturers, and auto dealers use publicly available auto recall information differently. Chapter 1 addresses: how consumers and industry stakeholders use such information and how easy to use do consumers find the auto recall areas of NHTSA.gov, among other objectives. Ticket pricing, resale activity, and fees for events vary. Chapter 2 review issues around online ticket sales including what is known about online ticket sales, consumer protection issues related to such sales, and potential advantages and disadvantages of selected approaches to address these issues. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) regulates robocalls. A robocall, also known as "voice broadcasting," is any telephone call that delivers a prerecorded message using an automatic (computerised) telephone dialing system, more commonly referred to as an automatic dialer or "autodialer." Chapter 3 addresses robocalls that are both illegal under the TCPA and intended to defraud, not robocalls that are defined only as illegal. Chapter 4 addresses FTC's role and authorities for overseeing Internet privacy, stakeholders' views on potential actions to enhance federal oversight of consumers' Internet privacy, and breaches of personally identifiable information. Chapter 5 provides a brief overview of federal regulation of Wells Fargo and a timeline of key events involving the company since the scandal's disclosure. It then discusses a few relevant policy issues, including consumer protection and corporate governance, and highlights recent instances of congressional oversight of the bank. Chapter 6 summarises measures FTC has taken to enforce consumer reporting agencies (CRA) compliance with requirements to protect consumer information, measures CFPB has taken to ensure CRA protection of consumer information, and actions consumers can take after a breach. Chapter 7 examines issues related to federal oversight of CRAs. This chapter discusses measures FTC has taken to enforce CRA compliance with requirements to protect consumer information, measures CFPB has taken to ensure CRA protection of consumer information, and actions consumers can take after a breach. Chapter 8 reviews gender-related price differences for consumer goods and services sold in the United States. Chapter 9 summarises P.L. 115-174 as enacted and highlights major policy proposals of the legislation.
In today's world, numbers are in the ascendancy. Societies dominated by star ratings, scores, likes and lists are rapidly emerging, as data are collected on virtually every aspect of our lives. From annual university rankings, ratings agencies and fitness tracking technologies to our credit score and health status, everything and everybody is measured and evaluated. In this important new book, Steffen Mau offers a critical analysis of this increasingly pervasive phenomenon. While the original intention behind the drive to quantify may have been to build trust and transparency, Mau shows how metrics have in fact become a form of social conditioning. The ubiquitous language of ranking and scoring has changed profoundly our perception of value and status. What is more, through quantification, our capacity for competition and comparison has expanded significantly - we can now measure ourselves against others in practically every area. The rise of quantification has created and strengthened social hierarchies, transforming qualitative differences into quantitative inequalities that play a decisive role in shaping the life chances of individuals. This timely analysis of the pernicious impact of quantification will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences, as well as anyone concerned by the cult of numbers and its impact on our lives and societies today.
'Until we begin to offer the lost souls of our consumer culture that abundant delight that is woven into the fabric of creation and is none other than the glory of God himself, I suspect we'll continue to be the self-obsessed and self-doubting Church we are often perceived to be.' From the introduction Rescuing the Church ...examines how people are initiated into a consumer culture during childhood and thus drawn into pursuing a vocation as consumers by means of various quasi-sacramental rites and practices. The upshot of this is that the church today is composed primarily of men and women whose lives are situated more within a consumer culture than within a distinctively Christian one. In order for the church to free itself, the author believes it must reclaim a sacramental identity that is grounded in a narrative tradition and realized in real, local worshipping communities.
The global phenomenon of political consumerism is known through such diverse manifestations as corporate boycotts, increased preferences for organic and fairtrade products, and lifestyle choices such as veganism. It has also become an area of increasing research across a variety of disciplines. Political consumerism uses consumer power to change institutional or market practices that are found ethically, environmentally, or politically objectionable. Through such actions, the goods offered on the consumer market are problematized and politicized. Distinctions between consumers and citizens and between the economy and politics collapse. The Oxford Handbook of Political Consumerism offers the first comprehensive theoretical and comparative overview of the ways in which the market becomes a political arena. It maps the four major forms of political consumerism: boycotting, buycotting (spending to show support), lifestyle politics, and discursive actions, such as culture jamming. Chapters by leading scholars examine political consumerism in different locations and industry sectors, and in consideration of environmental and human rights problems, political events, and the ethics of production and manufacturing practices. This volume offers a thorough exploration of the phenomenon and its myriad dilemmas, involving religion, race, nationalism, gender relations, animals, and our common future. Moreover, the Handbook takes stock of political consumerism's effectiveness in solving complex global problems and its use to both promote and impede democracy.
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