×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Consumer Society Reader
     

The Consumer Society Reader

by Juliet Schor
 

See All Formats & Editions

The Consumer Society Reader features a range of key works on the nature and evolution of consumer society. Included here is much-discussed work by leading critics such as Jean Baudrillard, Susan Bordo, Dick Hebdige, bell hooks, and Janice Radway. Also included is a full range of classics, such as Frankfurt School writers Adorno and Horkheimer on the Culture

Overview

The Consumer Society Reader features a range of key works on the nature and evolution of consumer society. Included here is much-discussed work by leading critics such as Jean Baudrillard, Susan Bordo, Dick Hebdige, bell hooks, and Janice Radway. Also included is a full range of classics, such as Frankfurt School writers Adorno and Horkheimer on the Culture Industry; Thorstein Veblen's oft-cited writings on "conspicuous consumption"; Betty Friedan on the housewife's central role in consumer society; John Kenneth Galbraith's influential analysis of the "affluent society"; and Pierre Bourdieu on the notion of "taste."

"Consumer society--the 'air we breathe,' as George Orwell has described it--disappears during economic downtruns and political crises. It becomes visible again when prosperity seems secure, cultural transformation is too rapid, or enviornmental disasters occur. Such is the time in which we now find ourselves. As the roads clog with gas-guzzling SUVs and McMansions proliferate in the suburbs, the nation is once again asking fundamental questions about lifestyle. Has 'luxury fever,' to use Robert Frank's phrase, gotten out of hand? Are we really comfortable with the 'Brand Is Me' mentality? Have we gone too far in pursuit of the almighty dollar, to the detriment of our families, communities, and natural enviornment? Even politicians, ordinarily impermeable to questions about consumerism, are voicing doubts... [and] polls suggest majorities of Americans feel the country has become too materialistic, too focused on getting and spending, and increasingly removed from long-standing non-materialist values." —From the introduction by Douglas B. Holt and Juliet B. Schor

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Schor (economics of leisure studies, Tilburg Univ., Netherlands) and Holt (advertising and sociology, Univ. of Illinois) have collected an impressive array of articles treating the multifarious aspects of consumer society. The anthology gathers classic essays by Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, John Kenneth Galbraith, Stuart Ewen, Pierre Bourdieu, and other familiar critics of consumption and supplements them with newer, lesser-known works. Topics range from Barry Manilow fan clubs and black Barbie dolls to Italian scooters and adman Bill Bernbach's groundbreaking publicity campaign for Volkswagon in the early Sixties. The result is a rich, complex portrait of commodity consumption in the United States and other parts of the Western world. In the end, the anthology lets the reader decide: does society empower consumers to purchase things that will increase their sense of well-being and individuality, or have we become slaves to global capitalism, buying things we do not need and in the process destroying the planet with our wasteful habits? Recommended for academic and larger public libraries. (Introduction not seen.)--Andrew Brodie Smith, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Booknews
Presents 28 essays<-->classic texts from intellectual superstars<-- >among them: Adorno and Horkheimer's "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception"; Betty Friedan's "The Sexual Self"; Jean Baudrillard's "The Ideological Genesis of Needs"; Dick Hebdige's "Object as Image: The Italian Scooter Cycle"; Thorsten Veblen's "Conspicuous Consumption"; James Twitchell's "Two Cheers for Materialism"; and Karl Marx's "The Fetishism of the Commodity and Its Secret." Topics include the social organization of symbols, consumption and social inequality, the liberatory dimensions of consumer society, capitalism's tendency to commodify, and new critiques of consumer society. Essays are given dates but no information is provided about the contributors nor is there an index. Schor teaches women's studies at Harvard and leisure studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands; Holt teaches marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Distributed by W.W. Norton. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595587589
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
07/26/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
502
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author


Juliet B. Schor's research has focused on the economics of work, spending, environment, and the consumer culture. She is the author of Born to Buy, The Overworked American, and The Overspent American. Schor is senior lecturer on women's studies at Harvard University, as well as chair in the economics of leisure studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. She is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and a cofounder of the Center for a New American Dream, an organization devoted to ecologically and socially sustainable lifestyles.

Douglas B. Holt is assistant professor in the department of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews