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Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption / Edition 1
     

Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption / Edition 1

by Laura J. Miller
 

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ISBN-10: 0226525910

ISBN-13: 2900226525913

Pub. Date: 05/15/2007

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Over the past half-century, bookselling, like many retail industries, has evolved from an arena dominated by independent bookstores to one in which chain stores have significant market share. Yet unlike other retail industries, bookselling, many people believe, should be "above" questions of profit. In Reluctant Capitalists, Laura J. Miller investigates what drives

Overview

Over the past half-century, bookselling, like many retail industries, has evolved from an arena dominated by independent bookstores to one in which chain stores have significant market share. Yet unlike other retail industries, bookselling, many people believe, should be "above" questions of profit. In Reluctant Capitalists, Laura J. Miller investigates what drives this belief and how it is affected by the changing retail environment. Miller teases out the meanings of retailing and consumption in American culture at large, underscoring her point that any type of consumer behavior is inevitably political, with consequences for communities as well as commercial institutions.

About the Author:
Laura J. Miller is assistant professor of sociology at Brandeis University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900226525913
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/15/2007
Edition description:
1
Pages:
328

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Commercial Culture and Its Discontents     1
From Dry Goods Merchant to Internet Mogul: Bookselling through American History     23
Providing for the Sovereign Consumer: Selecting and Recommending Books     55
Designing the Bookstore for the Standardized Consumer     87
Serving the Entertained Consumer: The Multifunction Bookstore     117
Bargaining with the Rational Consumer: Selling the Low-Cost Book     141
The Revolt of the Retailers: Independent Bookseller Activism     161
Pursuing the Citizen-Consumer: Consumption as Politics     197
Ownership Histories of Major American Chain Bookstores     231
Notes     237
Bibliography     283
Index     299

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