Going Shopping: Consumer Choices and Community Consequences

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (30) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $2.00   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   


We are how we shop. From Mesopotamian merchants and the fairs of medieval Europe to marble palace department stores and now Wal-Mart and the Internet, social, cultural, economic, and moral forces have shaped our shopping. In this engaging and generously illustrated book, Ann Satterthwaite traces the history of shopping and considers its meaning and significance.

According to Satterthwaite, shopping has become part of the American dream. To choose and to buy constitute not only a basic economic liberty but also the capacity to improve and transform ourselves. How we shop also reflects our culture, as in the twentieth century disposable incomes have grown, women’s roles have changed, and new styles of shopping and advertising have made their impacts on an old adventure. But there is a downside. Shopping used to be a friendly business: shoppers and clerks knew each other, the country crossroads stores and downtown markets were social as much as economic hubs. Shopping was meshed with civic life—post offices, town halls, courts, and churches. In place of this almost vanished scene have come superstores and the franchises of international companies staffed by pressured clerks in featureless commercial wastelands. Shopping and community have been savagely divorced.

However, shopping as a social plus need not be lost, says Satterthwaite. Examining trends in the United States and abroad where new approaches to an old activity are strengthening its social and civic role, she states that shopping is more than ever a public concern with profound public impacts.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Sharon Zukin
This enjoyable book engages in a significant debate about civility, community, and public space.
Library Journal
In this intriguing and well-researched book, Satterthwaite, a city planner in Washington, DC, provides an in-depth examination of the history and societal impacts of shopping. She explores shopping and retailing from farmers bartering their extra produce in ancient Mesopotamia to recent phenomena like superstores and e-commerce. Shopping, Satterthwaite argues, reflects the wider culture, and as incomes and free time have increased, women's roles have changed, and technology has evolved, shopping has fundamentally shifted as well. For centuries, shopping has been a social, community-based activity where shoppers interacted with friends and neighbors at a locally owned store on Main Street. The advent of nation-wide franchise discount stores, superstores, and e-commerce has stripped the act of shopping of any community. She ends with an examination of recent efforts in the United States and abroad to restore community interaction to the shopping process. Excellently written and well argued, Satterthwaite's book will make a fine addition to the collection of any academic or large public library. Mark Bay, Cumberland Coll. Lib., Williamsburg, KY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300084214
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Satterthwaite is a city planner in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Shopping Through the Ages: How Rarities Become Commonplace 8
Ch. 2 Shopping: A Community Activity 64
Ch. 3 Shoppers: Matching Dreams with Realities 118
Ch. 4 What's in Store? Shopping in the Future 171
Ch. 5 Planning for Shopping: An Insurance Policy for Community Well-Being 241
Ch. 6 Shopping: A Public Concern 306
Notes 347
Bibliography 361
Acknowledgments 375
Index 377
Illustration Credits 387
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)