Pub. Date:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Voluntary Simplicity: Responding to Consumer Culture

Voluntary Simplicity: Responding to Consumer Culture


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A simpler life. In a shadow cast by the jarring beginning of the new millennium, simplicity has an undeniable appeal. Global conflicts, domestic security concerns, and a stalling economy can make keeping up with the Joneses feel like, at best, a misguided luxury. Now is not a time for excess; it is a time, it would seem, to focus on 'what really matters.' Thus the appeal of voluntary simplicity, a notion that combines the freedom of modernity with certain comforts and virtues of the past. The authors in this volume speak to the what, why, and how of voluntary simplicity (and even to some extent the where, when, and who). Those included range from contemporary academics to thinkers from the turn of the last century, from ardent supporters to staunch critics. They approach the subject from a variety of perspectives-economic, psychological, sociological, historical, and theological. Each either implicitly or explicitly helps us explore the desirability and feasibility of voluntary simplicity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742520677
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/22/2003
Series: Rights & Responsibilities Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.92(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Daniel Doherty is completing his Ph.D. at Yale University. Amitai Etzioni is university professor and the director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at The George Washington University.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction: Voluntary Simplicity— Psychological Implications, Societal Consequences Part 3 Human Wants, Human Goods Chapter 4 A Theory of Human Motivation Chapter 5 Wealth and Happiness: A Limited Relationship Chapter 6 Consuming for Love Chapter 7 The Problem of Over-Consumption-Why Economists Don't Get It Chapter 8 Achieving Collective Well-Being through Greater Simplicity: A Simple Proposal Part 9 Simplicity Throughout History Chapter 10 Early American Simplicity: The Quaker Ethic Chapter 11 Simple Needs Chapter 12 The Value of Voluntary Simplicity Chapter 13 Voluntary Simplicity: A Movement Emerges Part 14 Critical Perspectives Chapter 15 Conspicuous "Simplicity" Chapter 16 The Liberating Role of Consumption and the Myth of Artificially Created Desires

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