Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino

Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino

by Kim Fellner
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0813543207

ISBN-13: 9780813543208

Pub. Date: 06/19/2008

Publisher: Rutgers University Press


You can find a Starbucks coffeehouse almost anywhere, from Paris, France to Paducah, Kentucky, from the crowded streets of Thailand to shopping malls in Qatar. With nearly 200 of them in New York City alone, this coffee retail giant with humble beginnings has become an actor and icon in the global economy. As we sip our cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and our double

Overview


You can find a Starbucks coffeehouse almost anywhere, from Paris, France to Paducah, Kentucky, from the crowded streets of Thailand to shopping malls in Qatar. With nearly 200 of them in New York City alone, this coffee retail giant with humble beginnings has become an actor and icon in the global economy. As we sip our cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and our double half-caf venti low-fat mochaccinos, many of us wonder if Starbucks is a haven of civilization or a cultural predator, a good or bad employer, a fair trader or a global menace. In this entertaining and provocative ramble through Starbucks's ethos and actions, Kim Fellner asks how a coffeehouse chain with a liberal reputation came to symbolize, for some, the ills of globalization.

Armed with an open mind and a sense of humor, Fellner takes readers on an expedition into the muscle and soul of the coffee company. She finds a corporation filled with contradictions: between employee-friendly processes and anti-union practices; between an internationalist vision and a longing for global dominance; between community individuality and cultural hegemony. On a daily basis Starbucks walks a fine line. It must be profitable enough to please Wall Street and principled enough to please social justice advocates. Although observers might argue that the company has done well at achieving a balance, Starbucks's leaders run the risk of satisfying neither constituency and must constantly justify themselves to both.

Through the voices of Central American coffee farmers, officers at corporate headquarters, independent café owners, unionists, baristas, traders, global justice activists, and consumers, Fellner explores the forces that affect Starbucks's worth and worthiness. Along the way, she subjects her own unabashedly progressive perspective to scrutiny and emerges with a compelling and unexpected look at Starbucks, the global economy, our economic convictions, and the values behind our morning cup of joe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813543208
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
06/19/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Global Economy Comes Home     1
The Empire Strikes Gold     15
Running the 10-K     27
Banking on the Bean     47
Go Sell It on the Mountain     69
Moving Up on Eighth Street     105
The Cross-Dressing of Coffee-Counter Culture     123
When Worker Met Partner     140
At the Global Crossroads     163
The View from Headquarters     186
Capitalism Is Like Fire ...     203
Goodness As Battleground     220
Bread. Roses. Coffee     236
Acknowledgments     245
Notes     249
Index     267

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