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'Beautifully written and brilliantly argued, Possessed is one of the few things you really need to own' Daniel Gilbert How ownership came to own us - and what we can do about it Our love affair with possessions seems to be all-consuming, even as we face economic and environmental breaking points. The global pandemic is a wake-up call that forces us to reassess what we value most in our lives, and yet we remain reluctant to change our ways when it comes to accumulating things. Why? The answer is our need for ownership. A uniquely human preoccupation rooted in our biology, psychological ownership can be seen in everything from nations fighting over resources to the rise of political extremism. Award-winning psychologist Bruce Hood draws on his own and international research to explain why ownership is an emotional state of mind that governs our behaviour from cradle to grave, even when it is often irrational and destructive. Does our shopping define us? What motivates us to buy more than we need? Why do some cultures favour shared community ownership and others individual? How does our urge to acquire control our behaviour in times of crisis? Timely and persuasive, Possessed is the first book to explore how ownership has us in thrall to the relentless pursuit of a false happiness, with damaging consequences for society and the planet - and how we can stop buying into it.
* Why do people behave and think the way they do? * What makes people choose certain products and services? * How does consumption affect our everyday lives? Informed by psychological theory and supported by research, Consumer Psychology provides an overview to understanding consumer behaviour and underlying thought processes. Written in a clear and accessible style it is an essential read for students of consumer psychology. It is also important reading for anyone studying consumption, whether in marketing, consumer behaviour, sociology, anthropology, business studies, cyber psychology or sustainability. Psychology is central to an effective understanding of consumer behaviour and this book shows how it can be used to explain why people choose certain products and services, and how this affects their behaviour and psychological well-being. This book explores key theories from a broad range of psychology disciplines to show how psychology can help explain consumption behaviours. These include: * Memory and learning * Perception and attention * Emotions * Decision making * Motivation * Happiness This 2nd second edition has been updated with new research throughout and has more in-depth sections on topics such as: * Motives for and consequences of sharing in a social media environment * Online gaming and online customized advertising * Sustainable consumption and how to increase it Each chapter features an introduction, key terms, summary and study questions or class exercises that encourage you to think critically about the topics covered. Real-life examples including adverts and case studies are included throughout to ensure clear application to everyday life.
'Lots of ideas for making gifts and decorations but not spending tons of money buying them' Jenni Murray Celebrating midwinter is not about what you buy or how much you spend - it's about your attitude to life. Turn away from the frenetic consumerism of Christmas and rediscover the authentic and meaningful realities of this, the oldest and most precious celebration of the year. The true significance of midwinter is not found in any individual spiritual or religious belief or practice. Instead, the winter solstice provides an opportunity to celebrate what we as humans share; to set aside our differences and come together with a sense of community and cheer. Merry Midwinter is a cornucopia of ideas for how to make your own decorations (kissing boughs, advent wreaths, crackers, stockings and more); your own alternative gifts which cost nothing except your time and thought; your own entertainments and games; and simple, seasonal recipes from years gone by.
The first definitive book on researching gay and lesbian market behavior, Untold Millions: The Truth About Gay and Lesbian Consumers in America will help marketers, advertisers, and public relations managers learn how to successfully market and research products for gay and lesbian consumers. Author Grant Lukenbill, a leading consultant on the cultural and motivational aspects of gay and lesbian consumer behavior, provides you with important procedures, research, and guidelines that businesses today are following in order to develop successful marketing strategies to this growing target audience. From this updated and revised edition, you ll receive current methods, new data, and sure-fire strategies that will help your company break into this market segment, satisfy intended customers, and boost company sales.Providing you with statistics and data from the first market research study of its kind, the Yankelovich MONITOR s Gay and Lesbian Perspective, this book gives you suggestions on what things need to be done within your company before planning your marketing strategies. You ll benefit from ideas and suggestions in Untold Millions that will help you create consumer-driven market strategies to gays and lesbians, including: recognizing that there are families and relationships in society that are not heterosexual acknowledging age differences and the needs of particular generations attracting customers by circulating non-discriminatory hiring policies through press releases and company memos, installing domestic partner health care plans, and identifying cultural reference points to which gays and lesbians can relate remembering that many gays and lesbians may look at business with cynicism and doubt and may be quick to interpret actions as victimization referring to the Wall Street project before addressing gay- and lesbian-specific issues focusing on the areas of individuality, a need for association, and the need to alleviate stress reserving a post script in your direct marketing letter to remind consumers of your company s domestic partner benefits or if you support a particular gay/lesbian interest organizationUntold Millions contains advice on several other topics, such as corporate legal issues, public information trends and analysis, and changes in gay and lesbian communities to give familiarize you with your target audience. With Untold Millions, you ll be able to develop appealing marketing or advertising campaigns that will satisfy the highly profitable and emerging gay and lesbian consumer market.
American mothers are household CFOs, in charge of an estimated $2.45 trillion in direct spending. They are also an important influence on other family members' buying habits. Many organizations have identified moms as an important customer group, but the broad, age-based definitions these companies work with mask an array of different consumer behaviors. Written by two leading marketers, this book provides a new approach to understanding the "American Mom" market, examining the mom's influence on (or control of) the purchasing habits of children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to young adults, and bring focus to the frequently overlooked purchase influence of moms on teenagers. The authors combine large-scale quantitative research of more than 4,700 mothers with qualitative case studies from individual participants. Highly recommended for practitioners in retailing and product development, this book will also be a valuable supplemental text for college courses in consumer behavior and marketing strategy.
A definitive history of consumer activism, "Buying Power" traces the lineage of this political tradition back to our nation's founding, revealing that Americans used purchasing power to support causes and punish enemies long before the word "boycott" even entered our lexicon. Taking the Boston Tea Party as his starting point, Lawrence Glickman argues that the rejection of British imports by revolutionary patriots inaugurated a continuous series of consumer boycotts, campaigns for safe and ethical consumption, and efforts to make goods more broadly accessible. He explores abolitionist-led efforts to eschew slave-made goods, African American consumer campaigns against Jim Crow, a 1930s refusal of silk from fascist Japan, and emerging contemporary movements like slow food. Uncovering previously unknown episodes and analyzing famous events from a fresh perspective, Glickman illuminates moments when consumer activism intersected with political and civil rights movements. He also sheds new light on activists' relationship with the consumer movement, which gave rise to lobbies like the National Consumers League and Consumers Union as well as ill-fated legislation to create a federal Consumer Protection Agency.
How did Americans come to quantify their society's progress and well-being in units of money? In today's GDP-run world, prices are the standard measure of not only our goods and commodities but our environment, our communities, our nation, even our self-worth. The Pricing of Progress traces the long history of how and why we moderns adopted the monetizing values and valuations of capitalism as an indicator of human prosperity while losing sight of earlier social and moral metrics that did not put a price on everyday life. Eli Cook roots the rise of economic indicators in the emergence of modern capitalism and the contested history of English enclosure, Caribbean slavery, American industrialization, economic thought, and corporate power. He explores how the maximization of market production became the chief objective of American economic and social policy. We see how distinctly capitalist quantification techniques used to manage or invest in railroad corporations, textile factories, real estate holdings, or cotton plantations escaped the confines of the business world and seeped into every nook and cranny of society. As economic elites quantified the nation as a for-profit, capitalized investment, the progress of its inhabitants, free or enslaved, came to be valued according to their moneymaking abilities. Today as in the nineteenth century, political struggles rage over who gets to determine the statistical yardsticks used to gauge the "health" of our economy and nation. The Pricing of Progress helps us grasp the limits and dangers of entrusting economic indicators to measure social welfare and moral goals.
This major reference book provides an authoritative analysis and survey of consumer research and economic psychology. It provides an international, in-depth overview of the present state of knowledge and theory which will be indispensable to students, researchers and practitioners. The Companion presents over 100 specially commissioned entries on important topics in consumer research and economic psychology from behaviourism and brand loyalty to trust and the psychology of tourism. Leading scholars in the fields provide stimulating insights into the area as well as summarising existing knowledge. Readers will find entries both on new topics that have rarely been considered in the framework of consumer research or economic psychology and on topics that have long been considered important in these disciplines. The book will ably meet the needs of undergraduate and graduate students in business administration, economics, marketing and psychology, as well as informing researchers and practitioners in those disciplines.
Challenging the conventional narrative that the European Union suffers from a "democratic deficit," Athanasios Psygkas argues that EU mandates have enhanced the democratic accountability of national regulatory agencies. This is because EU law has created entry points for stakeholder participation in the operation of national regulators; these avenues for public participation were formerly either not open or not institutionalized to this degree. By focusing on how the EU formally adopted procedural mandates to advance the substantive goal of creating an internal market in electronic communications, Psygkas demonstrates that EU requirements have had significant implications for the nature of administrative governance in the member states. Drawing on theoretical arguments in favor of decentralization traditionally applied to substantive policy-making, this book provides insight into regulatory processes to show how the decentralized EU structure may transform national regulatory authorities into individual loci of experimentation that might in turn develop innovative results. It thus contributes to debates about federalism, governance and public policy, as well as about deliberative and participatory democracy in the United States and Europe. This book informs current understandings of regulatory agency operations and institutional design by drawing on an original dataset of public consultations and interviews with agency officials, industry and consumer group representatives in Paris, Athens, Brussels, and London. The on-the-ground original research provides a strong foundation for the directions the case law could take and small- and larger-scale institutional reforms that balance the goals of democracy, accountability, and efficiency.
The Industrial Revolution was previously understood as having awakened an enormous, unquenchable thirst for material consumption. People up and down the social order had discovered and were indulging in the most extraordinary passion for consumer merchandise in quantities and varieties that had been unimaginable to their parents and grandparents. It was indeed a revolution, but a consumer revolution at the start. In Face Value, Cary Carson expands and updates his groundbreaking earlier work to address the intriguing question of how Americans became the world's consummate consumers. Prior to the rise of gentry culture in eighteenth-century North America, there was still a decided sameness to people's material lives. About mid-century, though, a lust for fancy goods, coupled with social aspiration, began to transform American society. Carson here addresses the intriguing question of how Americans developed the reputation for avid consumption. Both elegantly written and engagingly argued, the book reveals how the rise of the gentry culture in eighteenth-century North America gave rise to a consumer economy.
In a world where change happens at light speed, discovering and mastering the power of change can transform your business and your life.
Stop feeling overwhelmed with changing technology, culture, business, trends, and values, and regain the confidence that can give you a real advantage. Stability, once a mainstay of American life, is now a pipe dream. For most people, this creates major anxiety, worry, and confusion. In "JOLT ," Phil Cooke, television producer, media guru, and cultural commentator, will help you discover how you can navigate the whirlwind of change and actually use it to your advantage. After spending three decades helping organizations master the art of change, he realized that changing a company or changing your life, are both based on virtually the same key principles.
In this accessible and relevant guidebook meant to anchor and empower every reader, Cooke unveils 25 "jolts" anyone can leverage to establish a new direction, maximize potential, overcome insecurity, safeguard the heart and mind, reinforce values, and create an amazing future and lasting legacy. Whether your goal is to revitalize your organization, or transform the direction of your life, he reveals the secrets to becoming a game changer in readers' lives, opening up new possibilities, confidence, and impact.
Like the "Reset" button on a computer, "JOLT " can revolutionize your thinking and shake up your life
"The world has changed and nothing will ever be the same again. Most people have reacted by hunkering down and settling into survival mode. In "Jolt , " Phil Cooke brilliantly shows us that we were created for something far greater. We don't have to have life dictated to us. We can rise above the chaos and stay ahead of the curve."- Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church; author of Sun Stand Still
"JOLT will motivate you to adapt and change to our ever evolving world......
Phil Cooke's clear and frank writing style speaks directly to today's readers, applicable for both personal and business sides of us all."
- Mark Zoradi - Former President of Walt Disney Motion Picture Group
"The only way to hit a moving target (and Phil Cooke shows just how fast-moving this culture is) is to get ahead of it. If you're tired of playing the game of either catch-up or put-down, Jolt is for you. It's the best book out there on how to move from Carpe Diem to Carpe Manana."
- Leonard Sweet, best-selling author and professor (Drew University, George Fox University)
After a catastrophic start to the 2020s, empathetic influence is set to be this decade’s most critical human skillset. In her new book Softening The Edge, Mimi Nicklin explains why.
With the Covid pandemic “accelerating the future”, the need for authentic human connection, and meaningful relationships with colleagues, employees and clients, has never been greater. Empathy is the key to making this happen, a trait of understanding and hope that has the power to not only change our business environments, but to change the shape of our world.
Nicklin draws from her eye-opening true-life business journey to present the case for empathy, and bolsters the argument with comprehensive scientific data. As a Millennial, she straddles the generational gap between the up-and-coming Gen-Zs and the established captains of industry, a much-needed conduit between the two.
A genuinely insightful book, Softening the Edge will inspire and challenge you in equal measure. It will show you how to successfully harness your emotional intelligence to authentically connect with and influence people on a deeper level, and it will ultimately help you to evolve and future-proof the way you do business and live your life.
Workers in distant nations who produce the products we buy frequently suffer from accidents, managerial malfeasance, and injustice. Are consumers who bought the products made by these workers in any way morally responsible for those injustices? And what about the far more frequent, less severe injustices, such as the withholding of wages, the denial of bathroom breaks, forced overtime, and harassment of various sorts? Could buying a shirt at the local department store create for you some responsibility for the horrendous death in a factory fire of the women who sewed it half a planet away?
Capitalism and slavery stand as the two economic phenomena that have most clearly defined the United States. Yet, despite African Americans' nearly $500 billion annual spending power, surprisingly little attention has been devoted to the ways U.S. businesses have courted black dollars in post-slavery America. Robert E. Weems, Jr., presents the first fully integrated history of black consumerism over the course of the last century.
The World War I era Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to northern and southern cities stimulated initial corporate interest in blacks as consumers. A generation later, as black urbanization intensified during World War II and its aftermath, the notion of a distinct, profitable African American consumer market gained greater currency. Moreover, black socioeconomic gains resulting from the Civil Rights movement which itself featured such consumer justice protests as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, further enhanced the status and influence of African American shoppers.
Unwilling to settle for facile answers, Weems explores the role of black entrepreneurs who promoted the importance of the African American consumer market to U.S. corporations. Their actions, ironically, set the stage for the ongoing destruction of black-owned business. While the extent of educational, employment, and residential desegregation remains debatable, African American consumer dollars have, by any standard, been fully incorporated into the U.S. economy.
Desegregating the Dollar takes us through the "blaxploitation" film industry, the vast market for black personal care products, and the insidious exploitation of black urban misery by liquor and cigarette advertisers. Robert E. Weems, Jr., has given us the definitive account of the complicated relationship between African Americans, capitalism, and consumerism.
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'.
Garifuna live in Central America, primarily Honduras, and the United States. Identified as Black by others and by themselves, they also claim indigenous status and rights in Latin America. Examining this set of paradoxes, Mark Anderson shows how, on the one hand, Garifuna embrace discourses of tradition, roots, and a paradigm of ethnic political struggle. On the other hand, Garifuna often affirm blackness through assertions of African roots and affiliations with Blacks elsewhere, drawing particularly on popular images of U.S. blackness embodied by hip-hop music and culture.
"Black and Indigenous" explores the politics of race and culture among Garifuna in Honduras as a window into the active relations among multiculturalism, consumption, and neoliberalism in the Americas. Based on ethnographic work, Anderson questions perspectives that view indigeneity and blackness, nativist attachments and diasporic affiliations, as mutually exclusive paradigms of representation, being, and belonging.
As Anderson reveals, within contemporary struggles of race, ethnicity, and culture, indigeneity serves as a normative model for collective rights, while blackness confers a status of subaltern cosmopolitanism. Indigeneity and blackness, he concludes, operate as unstable, often ambivalent, and sometimes overlapping modes through which people both represent themselves and negotiate oppression.
The unqualified victory of consumerism in America was not a foregone conclusion. The United States has traditionally been the home of the most aggressive and often thoughtful criticism of consumption, including Puritanism, Prohibition, the simplicity movement, the '60s hippies, and the consumer rights movement. But at the dawn of the twenty-first century, not only has American consumerism triumphed, there isn't even an "ism" left to challenge it. "An All-Consuming Century" is a rich history of how market goods came to dominate American life over that remarkable hundred years between 1900 and 2000 and why for the first time in history there are no practical limits to consumerism.
By 1930 a distinct consumer society had emerged in the United States in which the taste, speed, control, and comfort of goods offered new meanings of freedom, thus laying the groundwork for a full-scale ideology of consumer's democracy after World War II. From the introduction of Henry Ford's Model T ("so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one") and the innovations in selling that arrived with the department store (window displays, self service, the installment plan) to the development of new arenas for spending (amusement parks, penny arcades, baseball parks, and dance halls), Americans embraced the new culture of commercialism -- with reservations. However, Gary Cross shows that even the Depression, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the inflation of the 1970s made Americans more materialistic, opening new channels of desire and offering opportunities for more innovative and aggressive marketing. The conservative upsurge of the 1980s and '90s indulged in its own brand of self-aggrandizement by promoting unrestricted markets. The consumerism of today, thriving and largely unchecked, no longer brings families and communities together; instead, it increasingly divides and isolates Americans.
Consumer culture has provided affluent societies with peaceful alternatives to tribalism and class war, Cross writes, and it has fueled extraordinary economic growth. The challenge for the future is to find ways to revive the still valid portion of the culture of constraint and control the overpowering success of the all-consuming twentieth century.
"Vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the public's decades-long love affair with vitamin supplements. Rima Apple deftly explores the science, politics, history, marketing, and mystique that have kept vitamins a hot-button issue for the American public."--Bonnie Liebman, Director of Nutrition, Center for Science in the Public Interest "Have you taken your vitamins today?" That question echoes daily through American households. Thanks to intensive research in nutrition and medicine, the importance of vitamins to health is undisputed. But millions of Americans believe that the vitamins they get in their food are not enough. Vitamin supplements have become a multibillion-dollar industry. At the same time, many scientists, consumer advocacy groups, and the federal Food and Drug Administration doubt that most people need to take vitamin pills. Vitamania tells how and why vitamins have become so important to so many Americans. Rima Apple examines the claims and counterclaims of scientists, manufacturers, retailers, politicians, and consumers from the discovery of vitamins in the early twentieth century to the present. She reveals the complicated interests--scientific, professional, financial--that have propelled the vitamin industry and its would-be regulators. From early advertisements linking motherhood and vitamin D, to Linus Pauling's claims for vitamin C, to recent congressional debates about restricting vitamin products, Apple's insightful history shows the ambivalence of Americans toward the authority of science. She also documents how consumers have insisted on their right to make their own decisions about their health and their vitamins. Vitamania makes fascinating reading for anyone who takes--or refuses to take--vitamins. It will be of special interest to students, scholars, and professionals in public health, the biomedical sciences, history of medicine and science, twentieth-century history, nutrition, marketing, and consumer studies. Rima D. Apple teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Consumer Science and the Women's Studies Program. She is the author of Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding, 1890-1950 and editor of Women, Health, and Medicine in America: A Historical Handbook.
Translated by DANIEL ROSS
Bernard Stiegler is one of the most original philosophers writing today about new technologies and their implications for social, political and personal life. Drawing on sources ranging from Plato and Marx to Freud, Heidegger and Derrida, he develops a highly original account of technology as grammatology, as a technics of writing that constitutes our experience of time, memory and desire, even of life itself. Society and our place within it are shaped by technical reproduction which can both expand and restrict the horizons and possibilities of human agency and experience.
In the three volumes of "Disbelief and Discredit" Stiegler argues that this process of technical reproduction has become dangerously divorced from its role in the constitution of human experience. Radically challenging the optimistic view of new technologies as facilitators of learning and progress, he argues new marketing techniques shortcircuit thought and disenfranchise consumers, programming them to seek short-term gratification. These practices of 'libidinal economics' have profound consequences for nature of human desire and they underpin the social and psychological malaise of contemporaty industrial society.
In this opening volume Stiegler argues that the industrial model implemented since the beginning of the twentieth century has become obsolete, leading capitalist democracies to an impasse. A sign of this impasse and of the decadence to which it leads is the banalization of consumers who become ensnared in a perpetual cycle of consumption. This is the new proletarianization of the technologically infused, hyper-industrial capitalism of today. It produces a society cut off from its past and its future, stultifying human development and turning democracy into a farce in which disbelief and discredit inevitably arise.
The Fluid Consumer provides a detailed analysis of the consumer and retail industry's profound shifts in the digital era. The book looks deeply into implications for business and branding models but serves also as a practical guide for companies to find innovative modes of operation in the face of digitally empowered consumers. Starting with an analysis on consumer behaviour in the age of hyper-digitisation, the book explores topics such as gathering consumer insights through advanced analytics, finding the optimal channel-mix in digital marketing, leveraging the "Living Services" concept, creating seamless consumer journeys and harnessing the power of start-ups. In doing so, The Fluid Consumer focuses on the rise of an increasingly 'fluid' consumer who combines rapidly dwindling brand loyalty with swiftly growing brand expectations. A comprehensive Closed Loop model explains the best paths for fast moving goods companies to engage with digitalised consumers in the future, providing clear strategies to remain competitive and successful in the new digital era.
Until the 1960s, scarcity and the struggle to clothe, feed and employ the nation drove most of US political life. From slavery to the New Deal, political parties organized around economic interests and the often fervent debate over the best allocation of political and economic rewards. But with the explosion of the nation's economy in the years after World War II, a new set of needs began to emerge. Employing Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs, Brink Lindsey offers a complete re-interpretation of the latter half of the 20th Century.Suddenly, the tumult of racial and gender politics and the conservative revolution of the 1980s and 1990s can be seen in an entirely new light. Once the struggle for survival has been resolved, a new set of divisive issues emerge. In a sweeping tour of American history since World War 2, Lindsey establishes that both left and right have contributed important ideas to our political culture. Indeed, by showing that we have conquered poverty, Lindsey is able to describe the politics of abundance as conflict between those who want to defend the fruits of prosperity - the freedoms that the US enjoys because of it's dynamic economy, including gender equality and alternative lifestyles - and those who want to defend the institutions that created abundance - the family, traditional values and religious certitude.
Suicides, excessive overtime, and hostility and violence on the factory floor in China. Drawing on vivid testimonies from rural migrant workers, student interns, managers and trade union staff, Dying for an iPhone is a devastating expose of two of the world's most powerful companies: Foxconn and Apple. As the leading manufacturer of iPhones, iPads, and Kindles, and employing one million workers in China alone, Taiwanese-invested Foxconn's drive to dominate global electronics manufacturing has aligned perfectly with China's goal of becoming the world leader in technology. This book reveals the human cost of that ambition and what our demands for the newest and best technology means for workers. Foxconn workers have repeatedly demonstrated their power to strike at key nodes of transnational production, challenge management and the Chinese state, and confront global tech behemoths. Dying for an iPhone allows us to assess the impact of global capitalism's deepening crisis on workers.'
A sense of urgency pervades global environmentalism, and the degrowth movement is bursting into the mainstream. As climate catastrophe looms closer, people are eager to learn what degrowth is about, and whether we can save the planet by changing how we live. This book is an introduction to the movement. As politicians and corporations obsess over growth objectives, the degrowth movement demands that we must slow down the economy by transforming our economies, our politics and our cultures to live within the Earth's limits. This book navigates the practice and strategies of the movement, looking at its strengths and weaknesses. Covering horizontal democracy, local economies and the reduction of work, it shows us why degrowth is a compelling and realistic project.
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.
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