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This lucid introduction to the sociology of consumerism examines the relationship between production and consumption in late capitalist societies. The historical and theoretical discussion provides the student with the tools to examine key themes in the sociology of consumption. After a detailed historical overview of the advent of consumer society, Peter Corrigan examines theoretical accounts of consumption and consumer practice, including: Veblen and conspicuous consumption; Mary Douglas on the world of goods; Jean Baudrillard on the system of objects; and Pierre Bourdieu on cultural capital. This historical and theoretical discussion provides the student with the tools to examine key themes in the sociology of consumption.
Reviewing key contemporary issues and debates about consumption, this accessible textbook portrays and assesses the varied and complex intersections of consumption and everyday life.
The rich and idiosyncratic nature of local consumption practices is illustrated through cases from different parts of the world. The contributors show the varying balance between constraint and creativity, links between consumption and production, and the patterns which shape access to symbolic and material resources.
This new volume, Green Consumerism: The Behavior of New Age Consumer, provides a holistic understanding the importance of promoting green products and discusses consumers' buying intentions and decisions. The chapters consider consumer behavior theory in the context of green or ecologically friendly products from both the academic and business perspectives. The chapters present the latest empirical and analytical research in the field of green marketing and provide an abundance of information about profitable and sustainable ways and strategies to deal with environmental problems. The volume considers how consumers are taking responsibility and becoming more aware, driving change in the marketplace. In response, companies are integrating appropriate green strategies into their operational activities, product development processes, and marketing activities to achieve a competitive advantage in saturated markets. This helps companies gain market share and minimize their production costs. Topics discussed in the volume include green pricing, green consumer behavior, various dimensions of consumer purchase intention, sustainable marketing, innovation techniques used to go green, eco-awareness, and other ongoing developments in this rapidly expanding area. Key features: * Discusses research on the latest trends in the field of green marketing, green practices, green products, eco-literacy, environment awareness, protection, management etc. * Provides insight about current consumer behavior, consumers' eco-literacy levels, and their desires to go green * Covers a multitude of topics, including green pricing, green consumer behavior, sustainable marketing, innovation techniques used to go green, eco-awareness, and more
Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.
In "Land of Necessity," historians and anthropologists unravel the interplay of the national and transnational and of scarcity and abundance in the region split by the 1,969-mile boundary line dividing Mexico and the United States. This richly illustrated volume, with more than 100 images including maps, photographs, and advertisements, explores the convergence of broad demographic, economic, political, cultural, and transnational developments resulting in various forms of consumer culture in the borderlands. Though its importance is uncontestable, the role of necessity in consumer culture has rarely been explored. Indeed, it has been argued that where necessity reigns, consumer culture is anemic. This volume demonstrates otherwise. In doing so, it sheds new light on the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, while also opening up similar terrain for scholarly inquiry into consumer culture.
The volume opens with two chapters that detail the historical trajectories of consumer culture and the borderlands. In the subsequent chapters, contributors take up subjects including smuggling, tourist districts and resorts, purchasing power, and living standards. Others address home decor, housing, urban development, and commercial real estate, while still others consider the circulation of cinematic images, contraband, used cars, and clothing. Several contributors discuss the movement of people across borders, within cities, and in retail spaces. In the two afterwords, scholars reflect on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a particular site of trade in labor, land, leisure, and commodities, while also musing about consumer culture as a place of complex political and economic negotiations. Through its focus on the borderlands, this volume provides valuable insight into the historical and contemporary aspects of the big "isms" shaping modern life: capitalism, nationalism, transnationalism, globalism, and, without a doubt, consumerism.
"Contributors." Josef Barton, Peter S. Cahn, Howard Campbell, Lawrence Culver, Amy S. Greenberg, Josiah McC. Heyman, Sarah Hill, Alexis McCrossen, Robert Perez, Laura Isabel Serna, Rachel St. John, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, Evan R. Ward
In "Dream Worlds, " Rosalind Williams"" examines the origins and moral implications of consumer society, providing a cultural history of its emergence in late nineteenth-century France.
The history of consumerism is about much more than just shopping. Ever since the eighteenth century, citizen-consumers have protested against the abuses of the market by boycotting products and promoting fair instead of free trade. In recent decades, consumer activism has responded to the challenges of affluence by helping to guide consumers through an increasingly complex and alien marketplace. In doing so, it has challenged the very meaning of consumer society and tackled some of the key economic, social, and political issues associated with the era of globalization.
In Prosperity for All, the first international history of consumer activism, Matthew Hilton shows that modern consumer advocacy reached the peak of its influence in the decades after World War II. Growing out of the product-testing activities of Consumer Reports and its international counterparts (including Which? in the United Kingdom, Que Choisir in France, and Test in Germany), consumerism evolved into a truly global social movement. Consumer unions, NGOs, and individual activists like Ralph Nader emerged in countries around the world including developing countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America concerned with creating a more equitable marketplace and articulating a politics of consumption that addressed the needs of both individuals and society as a whole.
Consumer activists achieved many victories, from making cars safer to highlighting the dangers of using baby formula instead of breast milk in countries with no access to clean water. The 1980s saw a reversal in the consumer movement's fortunes, thanks in large part to the rise of an antiregulatory agenda both in the United States and internationally. In the process, the definition of consumerism changed, focusing more on choice than on access. As Hilton shows, this change reflects more broadly on the dilemmas we all face as consumers: Do we want more stuff and more prosperity for ourselves, or do we want others less fortunate to be able to enjoy the same opportunities and standard of living that we do?
Prosperity for All makes clear that by abandoning a more idealistic vision for consumer society we reduce consumers to little more than shoppers, and we deny the vast majority of the world's population the fruits of affluence."
For all the political branding and rebranding of healthcare in the United States, its fundamental unit of currency remains the doctor-patient relationship. This relationship has undergone seismic changes during the twenty-first century, including the introduction of new players (the so-called healthcare "team") and care delivery in settings like big-box stores and bureaucratic health systems. But are any of us better off? Next in Line is the first book to examine the doctor-patient relationship in the context of its new environs, in particular the impact of efficiency-driven innovation and retail-care models on physician mindsets and the patient experience. The overall picture is one of lowered expectations-a transactional, impersonal, and institutionally-limited incarnation of the medical bedside that leaves all parties underwhelmed and overstressed. By first conducting a macro-analysis of key industry trends (including the widespread use of performance metrics and retail principles), then measuring these trends' impacts through interviews with physicians and patients, Next in Line is both an examination and a critique of a care system at a crossroads. It is essential reading for understanding why relational care matters - and why it must be saved in a corporatized health system bent on using retail approaches to deliver care.
These days no-one is shocked when an administrative assistant buys silk pjamas, or when a young professional chooses only premium wines. 'Trading Up' examines why luxury goods still retail at huge premiums, despite selling in greater volumes than ever before.
In 1812, a series of revolts known collectively as the Aponte Rebellion erupted across the island of Cuba, comprising one of the largest and most important slave insurrections in Caribbean history. Matt Childs provides the first in-depth analysis of the rebellion, situating it in local, colonial, imperial, and Atlantic World contexts. Childs explains how slaves and free people of color responded to the nineteenth-century ""sugar boom"" in the Spanish colony by planning a rebellion against racial slavery and plantation agriculture. Striking alliances among free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations, rebels were prompted to act by a widespread belief in rumors promising that emancipation was near. Taking further inspiration from the 1791 Haitian Revolution, rebels sought to destroy slavery in Cuba and perhaps even end Spanish rule. By comparing his findings to studies of slave insurrections in Brazil, Haiti, the British Caribbean, and the United States, Childs places the rebellion within the wider story of Atlantic World revolution and political change. The book also features a biographical table, constructed by Childs, of the more than 350 people investigated for their involvement in the rebellion, 34 of whom were executed.
Is it possible any longer to "read" markets fast enough to respond to them? A world of discrete parts is now one interconnected web of ceaseless calculation and response. Marketing has become a thing of speed and turbulence, with all the players moving simultaneously.
For marketing guru Grant McCracken, the key to success in this dynamic new marketplace is to find a way to slow the world down. And McCracken believes he has the solution. It begins with understanding the mechanics at work today. He says, "Complexity has a theory. Commotion has a pattern. Dynamism has a system. We can continue to live by damage control, or we can change the way we play the game." To survive our own world of collision and speed, marketers need to see the world as "flocks and flows."
In this exciting new book, McCracken deploys "complex adaptive theory" to track the movement of trends and new groupings of consumers. He shows how to monitor new trends, whether and when to introduce new brands and brand extensions, how to speak to niche markets, and how to avoid costly mistakes. McCracken s sage and witty advice could not come at a better time. His book will be a valuable aid for anyone trying to keep up with marketplace changes in our rapidly evolving world."
As fandom sheds its longtime stigmas of geekiness and hysteria, fans are demanding more from the celebrities and brands they love. Digital tools have given organizations-from traditional businesses to tech startups-direct, real-time access to their most devoted consumers, and it's easy to forget that this access flows both ways. This is the new "fandom-based economy": a convergence of brand owner and brand consumer. Fan pressures hold more clout than ever before as audiences demand a say in shaping the future of the things they love. In Superfandom, Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron M. Glazer explain this new era of symbiosis. For producers, it can mean a golden opportunity: brands such as Polaroid and Surge, preserved by the passion of a handful of nostalgic fans, can now count on an articulate, creative, and, above all, loyal audience. Yet, the new economy has its own risks-it's also easier than ever for companies to lose their audience's trust, as Valve did when it tried to introduce a paid mod system for its Skyrim video game. Examining key cases that span a wide range of consumer markets, Fraade-Blanar and Glazer explain why some kinds of engagement with fans succeed and some backfire. Throughout, the authors probe fandom's history, sociology, and psychology. From the nineteenth-century American Alice Drake, who bribed her way into the houses of her favorite European composers, to Hatsune Miku, the Japanese virtual celebrity whose songs are composed entirely by fans, the dynamics of fandom-the activities we perform to show we belong to a group of people with common interests-may be as old as culture itself. For groupies of financier Warren Buffet and enthusiasts of Cards Against Humanity alike, the consumer relationship has been transformed. Superfandom is an essential guide for those who care about, contribute to, and live in our rapidly expanding fan-driven economy.
Consuming Citizenship investigates how Korean American and Chinese American children of entrepreneurial immigrants demonstrate their social citizenship as Americans through conspicuous consumption. The American immigrant entrepreneur has played a central role in projecting the American ideology of meritocracy and equality. The children of these immigrants are seen as evidence of an open society. While it appears that these children have readily adapted to American culture, questions remain as to why second-generation Asian Americans feel compelled to convince others of their legitimacy and the way they go about asserting their citizenship status. Extending our understanding of such children beyond the traditional emphasis on assimilation, the author argues that their consumptive behavior is a significant expression of their paradoxical position as citizens who straddle the boundaries of social inclusion and exclusion.
View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.
"A superb collection of classic and contemporary readings on
commodification theory, including the latest, most advanced
theorizing on this subject. It is a must-read."
"As someone who helped to draw attention to the subject of
commodification more than two decades ago, I believe that
commodification is, if anything, more important today than it has
ever been. We must ask ourselves: Are there some things that money
can't buy? Who is advantaged and who disadvantaged by desperate
market exchanges? This indispensable collection of old and new
thoughts on commodification will help us as we struggle towards
answering these questions."
""Rethinking Commodification" includes several classic texts of
commodification theory that familiarize readers with the
traditional debate. The work then offers new insights into the
issue, with two dozen articles, appellate court opinions, and
essays. Taken together, this book comprises an intellecutal mosaic
that moves the discussion beyond the early, on-off question of
whether or not to commodify."
"A magnificent collection. The subject is profound and complex,
the text gripping, lively, and thoroughly enjoyable to read."
"Commodification is on net a great source for good in the world.
But the seminal essays in Rethinking Commodification show that the
serious questions about alienability are much more than concerns
about hypothetical contracts for babies or self-indenture.a
Whatis the price of a limb? A child? Ethnicity? Love? In a world that is often ruled by buyers and sellers, those things that are often considered priceless become objects to be marketed and from which to earn a profit. Ranging from black market babies to exploitative sex trade operations to the marketing of race and culture, Rethinking Commodification presents an interdisciplinary collection of writings, including legal theory, case law, and original essays to reexamine the traditional legal question: aTo commodify or not to commodify?a
In this pathbreaking course reader, Martha M. Ertman and Joan C. Williams present the legal cases and theories that laid the groundwork for traditional critiques of commodification, which tend to view the process as dehumanizing because it reduces all human interactions to economic transactions. This acanonicala section is followed by a selection of original essays that present alternative views of commodification based on the concept that commodification can have diverse meanings in a variety of social contexts. When viewed in this way, the commodification debate moves beyond whether or not commodification is good or bad, and is assessed instead on the quality of the social relationships and wider context that is involved in the transaction. Rethinking Commodification contains an excellent array of contemporary issues, including intellectual property, reparations for slavery, organ transplants, and sex work; and an equally stellar array of contributors, including Richard Posner, Margaret Jane Radin, Regina Austin, and many others.
This first book-length treatment of the life and work of Christine Frederick (1883-1970) reveals an important dilemma that faced educated women of the early twentieth century. Contrary to her professional role as home efficiency expert, advertising consultant, and consumer advocate, Christine Frederick espoused the nineteenth-century ideal of preserving the virtuous home -- and a woman's place in it. In an effort to reconcile her desire to succeed in the public sphere of modernization and consumerism with the knowledge that most middle-class Americans still held traditional beliefs about gender roles, Frederick fashioned a career for herself that encouraged other women to remain at home.
With the rise of home economics and scientific management, Frederick -- college-educated but confined to the drudgery of housework -- devised a plan for bringing the public sphere into the domestic. Her home would become her factory. She learned how to standardize tasks by observing labor-saving devices in industry and then applied this knowledge to housework. She standardized dishwashing, for example, by breaking the job into three separate operations: scraping and stacking, washing, and drying and putting away. Determined to train women to become proficient homemakers and efficient managers, Frederick secured a job writing articles for the Ladies' Home Journal. A professional career as home efficiency expert later expanded to include advertising consultant and consumer advocate. Frederick assured male advertisers that she knew women well and promised to help them sell to "Mrs. Consumer."
While Frederick sought the power and influence available only to men, she promoted a division of labor bygender and therefore served the fall of the early-twentieth-century wave of feminism. Rutherford's engaging account of Christine Frederick's life reflects a dilemma that continues to affect women today -- whether to seek professional gratification or adhere to traditional family values.
"Antique', 'vintage', 'previously owned', 'gently used', 'cast-off'
n the world of second hand encompasses as many attitudes as there
are names for it. The popular perception is that second- hand shops
are largely full of junk, yet the rise of vintage fashion and the
increasing desire for consumer individuality show that second hand
shopping is also very much about style. Drawing on six years of
original research, Second-Hand Cultures explores what happens when
the often contradictory motivations behind style and survival
strategies are brought together. What does second hand buying and
selling tell us about the state of contemporary consumption? How do
items that begin life as new get recycled and reclaimed? How do
second hand goods challenge the future of retail consumption and
what do the unique shopping environments in which they are found
tell us about the social relations of exchange?
"Consumption Intensified "examines how self-identified middle class
Brazilians in Sao Paulo redefined their class during Brazil's
economic crisis of 1981-1994. With inflation soaring to an
astounding 2700 percent, their consumption practices intensified,
not only in relation to the national crisis but also to the
expanding global consumer culture. Drawing on her observations of
everyday practices and on representations of the middle class in
popular culture, anthropologist Maureen O'Dougherty explores both
the logic and incoherence of middle- to upper-middle-class
This book stands out from other books on the topic of influence. Most books on influence or persuasion select authors to focus on subsets of theoretical issues within a fairly narrow research focus. In this book, you will find a set of consumer and social researchers - some among the best in the country who address topics within their areas of expertise. The papers presented here should have a unique appeal because of the diverse range of issues that are examined. The papers are broadly connected within the consumer and social influence domain, but vary considerably in the theoretical matters the chapters address: empirical studies on how indirect social influence can affect different styles of thinking that result in counterintuitive outcomes; new insights into the issue of self-control as a limited resource and how it affects susceptibility to persuasion and compliance; the different types of appeals most effective in facilitating abstinence from unhealthy habits; how the effectiveness of a companys public response to brand failures is contingent on different factors involved in such failures; the persuasiveness of different forms of online versus offline consumer influence strategies; an expanded theoretical approach to social responsiveness integrated into an emerging area of theoretical physics: socio-physical modeling; and finally a controversial chapter that defines, tests and validates a scale that measures a commonly used descriptive vulgarity (negative influence) and then demonstrates its utility in predicting interpersonal and social problems. The empirical and conceptual chapters compiled in this book should be of interest to researchers working in the areas of consumer or social influence looking for new theoretical insights and ideas to investigate, as well as for those seeking stimulating questions or results for classroom learning and discussion. This book provides both.
Offering a deeper understanding of today's internet media and the management theory behind it Platforms are everywhere. From social media to chat, streaming, credit cards, and even bookstores, it seems like almost everything can be described as a platform. In The Platform Economy, Marc Steinberg argues that the "platformization" of capitalism has transformed everything, and it is imperative that we have a historically precise, robust understanding of this widespread concept. Taking Japan as the key site for global platformization, Steinberg delves into that nation's unique technological and managerial trajectory, in the process systematically examining every facet of the elusive word platform. Among the untold stories revealed here is that of the 1999 iPhone precursor, the i-mode: the world's first widespread mobile internet platform, which became a blueprint for Apple and Google's later dominance of the mobile market. Steinberg also charts the rise of social gaming giants GREE and Mobage, chat tools KakaoTalk, WeChat, and LINE, and video streaming site Niconico Video, as well as the development of platform theory in Japan, as part of a wider transformation of managerial theory to account for platforms as mediators of cultural life. Analyzing platforms' immense impact on contemporary media such as video streaming, music, and gaming, The Platform Economy fills in neglected parts of the platform story. In narrating the rise and fall of Japanese platforms, and the enduring legacy of Japanese platform theory, this book sheds light on contemporary tech titans like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Netflix, and their platform-mediated transformation of contemporary life-it is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand what capitalism is today and where it is headed.
How do you save yourself from your destructive desires? All this freedom is making us ill. Perhaps half of all deaths are caused by overeating, smoking, drinking too much, failing to exercise, and other behaviours we indulge in against our better judgement. Why do so many of us embark knowingly on the long march to slow-motion suicide? In this brilliant and irreverent search for answers, Daniel Akst delves deep into overconsumption, overspending, procrastination, expletive-laden anger, promiscuity, and most of the other homely transgressions that bedevil us in a world of freedom, prosperity, and technological empowerment. He draws a vivid picture of the many-sided problem of desire - and delivers a blueprint for how we can steer more directly toward the wants we most want for ourselves.
Designed to empower readers to advocate for themselves and others, this wide-ranging encyclopedia reveals a surprising range of resources and options that consumers have at their disposal. The only book of its kind, this two-volume, alphabetically arranged reference covers a broad array of topics related to consumer rights, including those of interest to often-overlooked populations such as older adults, veterans, and the homeless. Specific entries address critical areas including food and product safety, housing, health care, the financial industry, the automobile industry, and telecommunications. The encyclopedia reviews the historical development of the consumer movement, examines beliefs and values that drive the movement, and identifies agencies and laws intended to safeguard consumers. Expert contributors discuss key current issues as well as those likely to arise in the future. Vignettes and case studies are used throughout, and various, sometimes contrasting viewpoints are shared to help readers better understand the content. Related topics are easily discovered through a "see also" list, and additional readings are provided at the end of each entry. Traces the background, history, and chronology of the consumer movement Presents A-Z entries on key events and individuals, government agencies, watchdog groups, and products Provides balanced coverage of controversial topics to encourage critical thinking Offers readers immediate opportunities to put concepts into practice and improve their quality of life
The chapters in this volume have been selected from the best papers presented at the 8th Annual Consumer Culture Theory Conference held at the home of University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ in June 2013. The theme of the conference was Building Community Across Borders. The diverse interpretive research and theory represented in this volume provides the reader with intellectually stimulating opportunities to examine the intersections between a variety of theories and methods that represent the cutting edge in consumer research. These studies draw on an array of qualitative methodologies including ethnography, netnography, narrative and visual analysis, phenomenology, and semiotics. The substantive topics represent crucial issues for our times including understanding and navigating cultural diversity and cultural perspectives on co-creating market value.
In Gabriel García Márquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, a character articulates the fascination goods, technology, and modernity held for many Latin Americans in the early twentieth century when he declares that "incredible things are happening in this world." The modernity he marvels over is the new availability of cheap and useful goods. Steven Bunker's study shows how goods and consumption embodied modernity in the time of Porfirio Díaz, how they provided proof to Mexicans that "incredible things are happening in this world."
In urban areas, and especially Mexico City, being a consumer increasingly defined what it meant to be Mexican. In an effort to reconstruct everyday life in Porfirian Mexico, Bunker surveys the institutions and discourses of consumption and explores how individuals and groups used the goods, practices, and spaces of urban consumer culture to construct meaning and identities in the rapidly evolving social and physical landscape of the capital city and beyond. Through case studies of tobacco marketing, department stores, advertising, shoplifting, and a famous jewelry robbery and homicide, he provides a colorful walking tour of daily life in Porfirian Mexico City. Emphasizing the widespread participation in this consumer culture, Bunker's work overturns conventional wisdom that only the middle and upper classes participated in this culture.
This book is available as open access through the Bloomsbury Open Access programme and is available on www.bloomsburycollections.com. The follow up to Chris Rojek's hugely successful Celebrity, this book assesses celebrity culture today. It explores how the fads, fashions and preoccupations of celebrities enter the popular lifeblood, explains what is distinctive about contemporary celebrity, and reveals the psychological, social and economic consequences of fame both upon the public and celebrities themselves. The book develops the framework for looking at celebrity culture which Rojek set out back in 2001, by showing how ascribed celebrity, achieved celebrity and celetoids overlap. The book gives a new emphasis to the role of the media and public relations in engineering fame, and the psychological consequences of celebrity - notably Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Celebrity Worship Syndrome. The book is a landmark contribution in explaining how celebrities dominate the social horizon and why we need them.
Children today are growing up in an increasingly commercialised world. But should we see them as victims of manipulative marketing, or as competent participants in consumer culture? The Material Child provides a comprehensive critical overview of debates about children's changing engagement with the commercial market. It moves from broad overviews of the theory and history of children's consumption to insightful case studies of key areas such as obesity, sexualisation, children's broadcasting and education. In the process, it challenges much of the received wisdom about the effects of advertising and marketing, arguing for a more balanced account that locates children's consumption within a broader analysis of social relationships, for example within the family and the peer group. While refuting the popular view of children as incompetent and vulnerable consumers that is adopted by many campaigners, it also rejects the easy celebration of consumption as an expression of children's power and autonomy. Written by one of the leading international scholars in the field, The Material Child will be of interest to students, researchers and policy-makers, as well as parents, teachers and others who work directly with children.
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