Pub. Date:
Between the Lines
Pub. Date:
Between the Lines
No-One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart

No-One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart

by Tom SleeTom Slee
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We live in a culture of choice. But, in an age of corporate dominance, our freedom to choose has taken on new meaning. Upset with your local big box store? Object to unfair hiring practices at your neighbourhood fast food restaurant? Want to protest the opening of that new multinational coffeeshop? Vote with your feet!

What if it's not that simple?

In No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart, Tom Slee unpacks the implications of our fervent belief in the power of choice. Pointing out that individual choice has become the lynchpin of a neoconservative corporate ideology he calls MarketThink, he urges us to re-examine our assumptions . Slee makes use of game theory to argue that individual choice is not inherently bad. Nor is it the societal fix-all that our corporations and governments claim it is. A spirited treatise, this book will make you think about choice in a whole new way.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781897071069
Publisher: Between the Lines
Publication date: 05/15/2006
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Tom Slee is a writer, researcher, activist, and software professional. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Chapter 1: A World of Choice

  • A Short Modern History of Choice
  • MarketThink
  • Wanted: A Better Way of Thinking about Choices
  • Jack Shops at Wal-Mart
Chapter 2: Good Choices and Bad Outcomes
  • Jack and Jill's Ugly Divorce
  • The Prisoner's Dilemma
  • Choosing the Right Words
  • Choosing the Right Starting Point
Chapter 3: Private Choices and Public Failures
  • Jill Drops a Coffee Cup
  • Choosing Our Environment
  • Choosing Our Cities
  • Choosing Where to Shop
  • The Kind of Problem a City Is
Chapter 4: Arms Races and Red Queens
  • Jack Keeps up with the Joneses
  • A Selection of Arms Races
  • Choosing to Be Cool
  • From Commodity to Status Symbol
Chapter 5: Co-operation and Its Limits
  • Enduring Love
  • Choosing to Reciprocate
  • Choosing Not to Compete
  • Choosing in Groups and Crowds
  • Choosing Temptation
Chapter 6: Divide and Conquer
  • Choosing Not to Vote
  • Companies and Individual Choice
  • The Market as a Public Good
Chapter 7: That Obscure Object of Desire
  • Buying Sneakers at Whimsley Mall
  • Identifying the Real Choice
  • Game Theory: What Is It Good For?
Chapter 8: Join or Get Run Over
  • Choosing a Nightclub in Whimsley
  • A Selection of Herd Choices
  • Choosing Our Schools
  • Choosing Our Technologies
  • Fooled by Randomness
Chapter 9: The Devil You Know
  • Jack Goes to the Movies
  • Choosing Our Fashions
  • Choosing Our Culture
  • Jill Buys a Lemon
  • A Basket of Lemons
  • Choosing Where to Eat
  • Squeezing the Lemons
Chapter 10: Free to Choose, but Exploited
  • Power, Relationships, and Context
  • Choosing Stability
  • Choosing to Be Exploited
Chapter 11: Beyond Whimsley
  • The Ultimatum Game
  • Jill Hits the Ceiling
  • Choosing to Reject
  • A Backward Glance



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