Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Continuity and Change in the Cathedrals of Consumption

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George Ritzer

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    With much love to Dylan Tyler Ritzer My grandson and my friend

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    Preface

    When I began working on this third edition of Enchanting a Disenchanted World in late 2008 and 2009, we were well into the “Great Recession.”1 The economic world had been turned topsy-turvy with entire countries (e.g., Iceland) going bankrupt, legendary Wall Street firms (e.g., Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers) disappearing overnight, banks failing (IndyMac) or being nationalized (Royal Bank of Scotland in Great Britain), major corporations in bankruptcy (General Motors, Chrysler) or being saved by government bailouts (AIG), individuals in the United States losing much of their retirement savings in 401k plans, and the U.S. unemployment rate jumping every month and on target to reach 10%, or more, in late 2009.

    Similarly, in part as a result of the above, and in part as a contributor to it, consumption in the United States—and much of the rest of world—had, at least for the time being, tanked (and, amazingly, the savings rate, which had approached zero, increased dramatically). This stood in stark contrast to the 1990s through late 2007, a period that was characterized by a boom (now better seen as a bubble) in the economy, including such a dramatic acceleration in consumption that I labeled it hyperconsumption. Furthermore, it was an epoch that saw the massive expansion of the settings—what I called the cathedrals of consumption—needed to accommodate and fuel hyperconsumption.

    In fact, it could be argued that both hyperconsumption (and the cathedrals of consumption) were important causes of the Great Recession. Because of excessively high levels of consumption of housing, automobiles, and other consumables, people took on unsustainable levels of mortgage, automobile, and credit card debt. Housing prices skyrocketed, and when they collapsed, many people were ruined financially.

    However, as the economic crisis gained steam, consumption dropped precipitously, making it impossible to think of the contemporary reality as approaching anything close to hyperconsumption. Furthermore, the cathedrals of consumption felt the pain, and some disappeared and others experienced great difficulties as a result of the decline in consumption.

    Despite this decline, it is clear that while they are changing in various ways, consumption and the cathedrals of consumption are not disappearing and will continue to play a central role in society. However, the changes wrought by the Great Recession have taught laypeople and scholars alike some important lessons that need to be thought through and incorporated into this new edition. In the end, the Great Recession helped me to refine and advance the conceptual analysis of consumption and the cathedrals of consumption presented in these pages.

    That reconceptualization is captured in the change in the subtitle of this book. While the main title—Enchanting a Disenchanted World—remains the same, the subtitle has been changed to Continuity and Change in the Cathedrals of Consumption. By continuity, I mean that most of the revolutionary changes in consumption and consumption settings that occurred between the end of World War II and the onset of the current recession—and described in these pages—remain in place. Furthermore, it is entirely possible that once the current economic crisis passes, we will see both resume their expansion. However, both consumption and consumption settings have changed, and it is also possible that we will see a long-term decline in both. Thus, for example, I discuss in the concluding chapter whether many of the largest and most significant cathedrals of consumption are in danger of becoming “dinosaurs of consumption” that are too large and cumbersome to adapt to the new economic realities.

    The above suggests major changes in this book, and while there are such changes, a surprisingly large portion, including the most central analytic chapters, remains largely intact. The main focus of the book was, and is, a theoretical analysis of the ways in which the cathedrals of consumption deal with the perils of rationalization and disenchantment through enchantment derived from spectacles produced by simulations, implosions, and manipulations of time and space. While at least some of these spectacles may now be in the process of being downsized (even the usually garish Academy Awards opened its 2009 program with a production number that was made to appear low in cost, even homemade), and there may be efforts to produce them in new ways, the cathedrals of consumption cannot avoid relying on spectacles. In the short run, the cathedrals of consumption will focus on reducing costs and prices, but they will be resistant to doing this for long, as they have in the past, since it leads to price competition and therefore to lower, if not low or nonexistent, profits.

    The Great Recession will force various changes on the nature of spectacle in the cathedrals of consumption (also to be discussed in the concluding chapter). For example, in some cases, “underwhelming” spectacles (e.g., Main Street in Disney World) will replace the current emphasis on those that overwhelm the consumer. In other cases, new technologies will be used to heighten the spectacle and lower costs (e.g., by relying less on costly employees). In other words, we will see more economical spectacles. Some methods discussed in this book for creating spectacles (e.g., implosion, simulation) are likely to be used more because they can be cost-effective, while others (reliance on great expanses of space) will be used less because of the high cost associated with them. Finally, hard economic times will lead to the discovery of new methods of creating spectacle, especially those that rely on advanced technologies. Many of these technologies will be associated with the Internet and the likelihood that an increasing number of cathedrals of consumption will be found there.

    However, changes in the cathedrals of consumption will be far from uniform. For one thing, they will vary by type with some (e.g., shopping malls) changing more dramatically than others (e.g., Disney World). For another, the degree and nature of the change will vary by area of the world. The United States is likely to see more than its share of change. For one thing, it was the site of the invention of many of the cathedrals of consumption, and a number of them may have outlived their useful lives (e.g., strip malls). For another, many of the cathedrals of consumption witnessed massive overbuilding, with the result that there is excess capacity in many domains (e.g., an excessive number of electronics superstores led to the demise of one large chain—Circuit City—while another, Best Buy, survives). Finally, it is possible, perhaps even likely, that the wealth of the United States is in decline relative to the likely growth of other economies (China, India, the Arab world, Brazil), and it will not be in a position to afford as many cathedrals of consumption as well as the hyperconsumption that is closely associated with them.

    This points to another important source of variation in the fate of the cathedrals of consumption. That is, while some parts of the world will witness a relative decline in consumption and the settings in which it occurs, others will see an expansion of both. For example, as I was writing this new edition, I spent some time in Dubai looking at the creation there of countless extraordinary cathedrals of consumption (see Chapter 7). The effects of the current economic crisis were certainly being felt there, including a decline in consumption and in the building of new cathedrals of consumption. However, I came away from my visit with the conclusion that both would resume their expansion as the current crisis ebbs and especially as the price of oil2 climbs back to its former heights and likely beyond. Thus, while the United States and other areas may see a relative decline in consumption and cathedrals of consumption, other parts of the world such as Dubai (another is Macau with its access to the growing Chinese market) are likely to see an expansion of both.

    Chapter 1 continues to describe the major cathedrals of consumption of focal concern in this book. While many of these have experienced problems lately (e.g., superstores, shopping malls, Las Vegas casino-hotels, cruise ships), and some (e.g., superstores such as Circuit City and Linens ‘n Things) have even disappeared, most remain significant forces in the economy and in consumer culture. There have been some changes in the discussion to reflect recent changes—especially declines—but the vast majority of it remains intact and of continuing relevance. Chapter 2 describes, as before, the revolutionary changes that took place until recently in consumption, as well as the reasons for those changes. The most theory-driven chapters (3–6) remain largely intact because they continue to be of great utility in understanding this book's major focus—the disenchantment (rationalization) of the cathedrals of consumption and the mechanisms (spectacle and extravaganza through the use of simulations, implosion, and manipulations of time and space) needed to reenchant them.

    There are three major changes in this book. The first is found Chapter 7 on the “landscapes of consumption” (geographic locales that encompass two or more cathedrals of consumption). New to the chapter is a discussion of the impact of the recession on these areas, as well as of two new landscapes of consumption in Dubai and Macau. The discussion is now oriented around three types of such landscapes. The first type, exemplified by the area around the Duomo in Milan, Italy, illustrates a fairly stable landscape of consumption. The second involves new landscapes of consumption that are being threatened by the current recession and includes Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio; Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; and the Cotai Strip in Macau, China. The third type deals with a landscape of consumption in decline, as exemplified by Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

    The second major change is the elimination of what was Chapter 8 in the last edition (“Societal Implications and the Future of the New Means of Consumption”). While many important issues were discussed there, the chapter had to be eliminated in order to make space for the third major change, the new Chapter 8—“The Cathedrals (and Landscapes) of Consumption:

    Continuity and Change”—dealing with the current economic downturn and its likely effect on the cathedrals of consumption. While there are certainly now significant signs of trouble in the cathedrals of consumption (some have become dinosaurs and others are threatened by “dinosaurization”) and even some signs of devolution (e.g., the return of some “mom-and-pop” shops to the malls replacing chain stores; some chains moving away from large outlets and opening much smaller ones), it seems likely that stability and even expansion will eventually return to the cathedrals of consumption. However, that growth will be nothing like that which occurred in the past two decades. Those who own and run the cathedrals of consumption have learned some important lessons and, in any case, have fewer resources and less access to credit. Much the same can be said of the consumer. Yet people will continue to need and to want to consume, and the cathedrals of consumption will be there to meet their needs and wants and even to inflame them once again.

    I would like to thank my two terrific assistants, Nathan Jurgenson and Jillet Sam, for their many contributions to this revision. I would also like to thank the other students in my spring 2009 graduate seminar—Heather Marsh, Beverly Pratt, P. J. Rey, and Cagri Tanyol—for their thoughts on the book and their contributions to it. I would also like to thank the following reviewers who made truly important contributions to the final phase of this revision:

    • D. Reber Dunkel, Randolph-Macon College
    • Leslie R. S. Elrod, University of Cincinnati
    • Brenda Forster, Elmhurst College
    • Douglas J. Goodman, Stonehill College
    • Bruce Hoffman, Ohio University
    • Douglas Kellner, University of California, Los Angeles
    • Ryan Moore, Florida Atlantic University
    • Beau Niles, University of Florida
    • Johanna K. Pabst, Boston College
    • Sara Raley, McDaniel College
    • Jean Van Delinder, Oklahoma State University
    • Robert E. Wood, Rutgers University

    As usual, my editor at Pine Forge Press, Jerry Westby, has been both supportive and encouraging. It is always a pleasure to work with him and the rest of the staff at Pine Forge.

    1Note I am not using the term recession here in its technical sense, nor am I arguing that we are not or will not move into a depression as that is defined technically. I like the phrase Great Recession because it indicates that the current economic decline is greater, and of more widespread significance, than other recessions. It is especially consequential for the concerns in this book—consumption and the settings in which it occurs.

    2Dubai is not rich in oil, but other emirates, as well as surrounding Arab states (e.g., Saudi Arabia), are, and much of the money for Dubai's development, as well as many of its visitors, comes from those areas.

  • Notes

    1. Yiannis Gabriel and Tim Lang, The Unmanageable Consumer: Contemporary Consumption and Its Fragmentation, 2nd ed., London: Sage, 2006.

    2. Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects, London: Verso, 1968/1996.

    3. The focus is on the macrostructures in which consumption takes place and not microlevel consumers and their actions. To put it another way, the focus is on structures and not on consumers as agents.

    4. For a discussion of some older means of consumption, see Ray Oldenburg, The Great Good Place, New York: Paragon House, 1989; David Nasaw, Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements, New York: Basic Books, 1993.

    5. An important issue is whether there is really anything “new” about the new means of consumption.

    6. Alan Bryman, “The Disneyization of Society,” Sociological Review 47 (1996): 25–47; The Disneyization of Society, London: Sage, 2004.

    7. It is interesting to note how many of the new means of consumption have their roots in the 1950s. This is undoubtedly traceable to the increasing affluence of American society as well as the growth of facilitating means of consumption relating to transportation—automobiles, highways, jet planes, and so on.

    8. DisneySea, at a cost of $2.5 billion, was constructed in Tokyo Bay.

    9. Stephen M. Fjellman, Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1992; Alan Bryman, Disney and His Worlds, London: Routledge, 1995.

    10. Judith A. Adams, The American Amusement Park Industry: A History of Technology and Thrills, Boston: Twayne, 1991, p. 111.

    11. John F. Kasson, Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century, New York: Hill and Wang, 1978, p. 44.

    12. Coney Island did have some structure and Disney World does offer some respite from the structures people encounter in their daily lives.

    13. Kasson, Amusing the Million, p. 50.

    14. Michael Sorkin, “See You in Disneyland,” in Michael Sorkin (ed.), Variations on a Theme Park, New York: Hill and Wang, 1992, p. 231.

    15. Bruce Handy, “It's Only a Day Away: Tomorrowland Gets an Update. Too Bad Tomorrow Has Gone Out of Style,” Time, June 1, 1998, p. 66; for an even more acid critique, see William Booth, “Planet Mouse: At Disney's Tomorrowland, the Future Is a Timid Creature,” Washington Post, June 24, 1998, pp. D1, D8.

    16. Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, Celebration, U.S.A.: Living in Disney's Brave New Town, New York: Henry Holt, 1999; Andrew Ross, The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Values in Disney's New Town, New York: Ballantine, 1999.

    17. Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

    18. From Michael D. Eisner, “Letter to Shareholders,” Business Wire, January 3, 2002.

    19. It is worth noting that despite its enormous success and expansion, not everything Disney has undertaken has succeeded. For example, the company sold its money-losing sports teams (Anaheim Angels in baseball; Anaheim Mighty Ducks in hockey) and closed many of its Disney stores. Its Club Disney sites were closed down some time ago.

    20. Eisner, “Letter to Shareholders.”

    21. Charles V. Bagli and Randy Kennedy, “Disney Wished Upon Times Sq. and Rescued a Stalled Dream,” New York Times, April 5, 1998, pp. 1, 32.

    22. Everett Evans, “‘Sleaziest Block in America’ Transformed Into Family-Friendly Heart of New York,” Houston Chronicle, March 8, 1998, p. 1, Travel.

    23. Although I am calling them structures, these settings are increasingly taking a dematerialized form as, for example, the case of cybermalls or home-shopping television. For a general discussion of dematerialization in the realm of consumption, see Don Slater, Consumer Culture and Modernity, Cambridge, UK: Polity, 1997.

    24. Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976; Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985; Jib Fowles, Advertising and Popular Culture, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996; Adam Lury, “Advertising: Moving beyond Stereotypes,” in Russell Keat, Nigel Whiteley, and Nicholas Abercrombie (eds.), The Authority of the Consumer, London: Routledge, 1994, pp. 102–115.

    25. Adam Arvidsson. Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture, London: Routledge, 2006.

    26. Richard S. Tedlow, New and Approved: The Story of Mass Marketing in America, New York: Basic Books, 1990.

    27. A study of changing tastes in food in Great Britain concluded that little could be said about the issue because data are sparse and inconclusive (and this is even more true of tastes in consumer goods in general). The author was able to say much more that is definitive about the production of food as well as the means of consumption that make that food available to consumers. See Alan Warde, Consumption, Food and Taste, London: Sage, 1997.

    28. Stuart Ewen, All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture, New York: Basic Books, 1988.

    29. Gilles Lipovetsky, The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.

    30. Campbell offers an even broader sense of this process “involving the selection, purchase, use, maintenance, repair and disposal of any product or service.” Campbell's use of the term shopping (selection and purchase of goods and services) is closer to our sense of this process, but it does not apply well to our interest in theme parks, cruise lines, and casinos; we usually do not think of people as “shopping” in these settings. See Colin Campbell, “The Sociology of Consumption,” in Daniel Miller (ed.), Acknowledging Consumption: A Review of New Studies, London: Routledge, 1995, pp. 102, 104.

    31. See, for example, Sharon Zukin, Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture, New York: Routledge, 2004; Pasi Falk and Colin Campbell (eds.), The Shopping Experience, London: Sage, 1997; Hoh-Cheung Mui and Lorna H. Mui, Shops and Shopkeeping in Eighteenth-Century England, London: Routledge, 1989; Alison Adburgham, Shops and Shopping: 1800–1914, London: Allen and Unwin, 1964.

    32. George Ritzer and Todd Stillman, “The Postmodern Ballpark as a Leisure Setting: Enchantment and Simulated DeMcDonaldization,” Leisure Sciences 23 (2001): 99–113.

    33. This extension to museums makes it clear that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between “high” and “low” culture.

    34. This means, among other things, that the exchange need not necessarily be completed. That is, something like “window shopping” would be part of our concern, even if no purchase takes place. See Anne Friedberg, Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

    35. Corrigan has recently described an earlier means of consumption, the department store, in a similar way: “It is not an exaggeration to see department stores as similar to cathedrals: they attracted people to worship at the temple of consumption.” See Peter Corrigan, The Sociology of Consumption, London: Sage, 1997, p. 56.

    36. Bill Keller, “Of Famous Arches, Beeg Meks and Rubles,” New York Times, January 28, 1990, section 1, p. 12.

    37. Bob Garfield, “How I Spent (and Spent and Spent) My Disney Vacation,” Washington Post, July 7, 1991, p. B5.

    38. Alexander Moore, “Walt Disney World: Bounded Ritual Space and the Playful Pilgrimage Center,” Anthropological Quarterly 53 (1980): 207–218.

    39. William Severini Kowinski, The Malling of America: An Inside Look at the Great Consumer Paradise, New York: William Morrow, 1985, p. 218.

    40. Ira G. Zepp Jr., The New Religious Image of Urban America: The Shopping Mall as Ceremonial Center, 2nd ed., Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1997; see also Moore, “Walt Disney World,” pp. 207–218.

    41. I will have a lot more to say about atriums, and the contribution of the architect John Portman, in Chapter 6.

    42. Zepp also discusses Disneyland, baseball stadiums, and airports in these terms. All of these means of consumption will be discussed in this book.

    43. John Drane, The McDonaldization of the Church: Spirituality, Creativity, and the Future of the Church, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2000.

    44. This is not impossible because it could be argued that this is exactly what takes place in thousands of churches and synagogues on the Sabbath.

    45. Thomas S. Dicke, Franchising in America: The Development of a Business Method, 1840–1980, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992, pp. 2–3.

    46. Ibid.

    47. There are two basic types of franchising arrangements. The first, product franchising, is a system in which “a manufacturer markets its output almost entirely through highly specialized retailers who, in turn, rely on the manufacturer for most of the products they sell.” McCormick harvesting machines and Singer sewing machines involved product franchising, and most important, to this day so does the sale of new automobiles. The second, business-format franchising, “is where the outlet itself—together with a comprehensive package of services to support it—is the product.” The fast-food franchises are the best example today of business-format franchising, but this type has expanded into many other types of retail businesses since the 1950s. See Dicke, Franchising in America, p. 3.

    48. http://www.entrepreneur.com/mag/article/0,1539,275271,00.html

    49. David Seagal, “In Hopes of a Chain Reaction,” Washington Post, April 30, 1997, pp. C11, C19.

    50. http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/invest/pub/2007_annual_report.html

    51. Richard Gibson, “Fast-Food Spinoff Enters Pepsi-Free Era,” Wall Street Journal, October 7, 1997, pp. B1, B2; http://www.yum.com/company/ourbrands.asp

    52. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Walmart

    53. David Handelman, “The Billboards of Madison Avenue,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 50ff.

    54. There were precursors (e.g., arcades) to the modern shopping mall in Europe in the late 1700s and 1800s.

    55. Margaret Crawford, “The World in a Shopping Mall,” in Michael Sorkin (ed.), Variations on a Theme Park, New York: Hill and Wang, 1992, p. 20.

    56. Laura Bird, “Huge Mall Bets on Formula of Family Fun and Games,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 1997, pp. B1, B12.

    57. Paco Underhill, Call of the Mall, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. p. 201.

    58. Suzette Barta, Jason Martin, Jack Frye, and Mike D. Woods, “Trends in Retail Trade,” OSU Extension Facts, WF 565, n.d., p. 2.

    59. John Holusha, “The Key to the Mall? That's Entertainment,” New York Times, February 9, 1997, section 9, p. 1.

    60. Peter A. McKay and Maryann Haggerty, “Entertaining New Mall Ideas,” Washington Post, June 19, 1998, pp. F1, F10.

    61. Barta et al., “Trends in Retail Trade,” p. 2.

    62. http://www.forbes.com/business/2007/01/09/malls-world-largest-biz-cx_tvr_0109malls.ht

    63. http://theseoultimes.com/ST/db/read.php?idx=1962

    64. “The Outlet as Destination for Those Who Love a Sale,” New York Times Travel, April 5, 1998, pp. 12, 24; http://realtytimes.com/rtcpages/20010628_malls.htm; http://www.cardelhotels.com/News_herald_online_0211_2002.asp

    65. Frank DeCaro, “Looking for an Outlet,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 70ff.

    66. Ibid.; http://www.charleston.net/stories/090103/bus_010utlets.shtml; Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.http://travel.mainetoday.com/todo/shopping/0307140utlet.shtml

    67. Danielle Reed, “A Tale of Two Leaves: Outlet Shopping …,” Wall Street Journal, October 17, 1997, p. B12.

    68. Michael Barbaro, “Retailers Embrace the Great Outdoors,” Washington Post–Business, December 1, 2003, pp. E1, E12.

    69. Gregory Richards, “Shopping Malls Without Halls,” Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), September 22, 2003, p. FB12.

    70. http://www.icsc.org/srch/rsrch/scope/current/ (International Council of Shopping Centers public statistics page)

    71. Marc Fisher, “Naming Your Price,” Washington Post, June 30, 1997, p. C2.

    72. Gary Gumpert and Susan J. Drucker, “From the Agora to the Electronic Shopping Mall,” Critical Studies in Mass Communications 9 (1992): 186–200.

    73. Linda Castrone, “The ‘Couch Potato’ Medium: College Class Analyzes Info-mercials’ Huge Appeal,” Rocky Mountain News, December 17, 1996, p. 3D; http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/infomercials-move-mainstream-tv-stay/story.aspx?guid={B287AF76-C8FB-44BE-AC61-7F929796DB83}

    74. Some traditional advertisements do this as well.

    75. Mike Mills, “A Pentagon Plan Became the Internet: The Network Was Born From a Divide-and-Conquer Strategy for Communications Security,” Washington Post, July 2, 1996, p. A6ff.

    76. David Bank, “What Clicks?” Wall Street Journal, March 20, 1997, pp. R1, R4; http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0880773.html

    77. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/catalog.gsp?cat=542413; Richard Tompkins, “Wal-Mart Plans Big On-line Expansion,” Financial Times, March 27, 1997, p. 33. There have also been failures. Shopping 2000, a cyberclone of a traditional mall with 58 storefronts, failed because it was too cumbersome.

    78. Diane Cyr, “Web Winners and Losers Strive to Make Sense of Selling on the Internet,” Catalog Age, October 1, 1996, p. 1ff.

    79. http://www.answers.com/topic/netflix-inc

    80. David Pogue, “Awash in a Stream of Movies,” New York Times, January 29, 2009.

    81. Miguel Helft, “Amazon Claims ‘Best Ever’ Christmas (Whatever That Means). New York Times, December 26, 2008.

    82. Elizabeth Corcoran, “What Intuit Didn't Bank On,” Washington Post, June 22, 1997, p. H5.

    83. David Streitfeld, “King of the Booksellers’ Jungle: http://Amazon.com Proved That Readers and the Internet Can Click,” Washington Post, July 10, 1998, pp. A1, A20.

    84. Beth Berselli, “Gamblers Log On to Deal Themselves In,” Washington Post, August 19, 1997, pp. A1, A8.

    85. http://www.peakentertainment.com

    86. Berselli, “Gamblers Log On,” p. A1.

    87. Michael Herman, “Huge Growth in Porn Websites,” The Press (Christchurch, New Zealand), October 7, 2003, p. C7.

    88. Wal-Mart has run into some resistance to expanding its economic base. See Jessica Hall and Jim Troy, “Wal-Mart, Go Home! Wal-Mart's Expansion Juggernaut Stumbles as Towns Turn Thumbs Down and Noses Up,” Warfield's Business Record, July 22, 1994, vol. 9, section 1, p. 1ff.

    89. All data are from http://walmartstores.com/sites/AnnualReport/2008/ (Walmart online investor relations site, linked off of http://walmart.com).

    90. Ibid.

    91. “Winning the Grocery Game,” Consumer Reports, August 1997, pp. 10–17.

    92. All data are from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-irhome&cm_re=1_en-_-Bottom_Nav-_-Bottom_investor&lang=en-US (Costco online investor relations site, linked off of http://costco.com).

    93. “Winning the Grocery Game,” pp. 10–17.

    94. Some trace it much further back to the founding of FAO Schwartz in New York in the 1860s.

    95. Richard Panek, “Superstore Inflation,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 66ff.

    96. http://www.online.wsj.com/article/SB122350935030117311.html

    97. Panek, “Superstore Inflation,” p. 66ff.

    98. Older cathedrals of consumption have suffered, as well. In early 2009, the venerable department store chain Macy's announced that it was closing 11 stores.

    99. Stanley Cohen and Laurie Tayor, Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance in Everyday Life, 2nd ed., London: Routledge, 1992.

    100. John Urry, “The ‘Consumption’ of Tourism,” Sociology 24 (1990): 23–35.

    101. Bob Dickinson and Andy Vladimir, Selling the Sea: An Inside Look at the Cruise Industry, New York: John Wiley, 1997.

    102. Ibid., p. 111.

    103. http://www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm; MARAD 31-03; November 26, 2003.

    104. Nancy Keates, “Cruise-Ship Delays Leave Guests High and Dry,” Wall Street Journal, October 24, 1997, p. B8.

    105. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27196377

    106. http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/OasisPreview-061908.cfm

    107. Robert J. Martin, “Historical Background,” in International Gaming Institute, The Gaming Industry: Introduction and Perspectives, New York: John Wiley, 1996, pp. 3–48.

    108. Kenneth Labich, “Gambling's Kings: On a Roll and Raising Their Bets,” Fortune, July 22, 1996, p. 82.

    109. Hank Burchard, “High-Rollin’ on the River,” Washington Post, December 14, 1997, p. E1.

    110. http://www.daveandbusters.com/Locations/default.aspx?Loc=140

    111. Linton Weeks and Roxanne Roberts, “Amusement Mall,” Washington Post, December 7, 1996, p. C1.

    112. Ibid., p. C5.

    113. Mitchell Pacelle, “Skeletons, Subs and Other Restaurant Themes Do Battle,” Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1997, p. B1.

    114. http://www.hardrock.com/corporate/press/content.asp?id=253

    115. David Wolitz, “Hard Rock Absurdity,” San Francisco Daily Online! August 15, 1996.

    116. Hard Rock Cafe Web site, http://www.hardrock.com/

    117. Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions, New York: Modern Library, 1899/1934, p. 36.

    118. Planet Hollywood Web site, http://www.planethollywood.com/

    119. VNU Business Media, Inc, “Got Game?” June 1, 2003.

    120. http://www.rainforestcafe.com

    121. David Sweet, “To Maximize On-Field Product, Try Hitting Ball Out of Park Often,” Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1998, p. B1.

    122. Thanks to Michael Friedman for bringing this to my attention.

    123. Thanks to Bryan Bracey for insights into this.

    124. David J. Kennedy, “Residential Associations as State Actors: Regulating the Impact of Gated Communities on Nonmembers,” Yale Law Journal 105 (1995): 761–793; Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, New York: Vintage, 1992, p. 246.

    125. Arthur G. Powell, Eleanor Farrar, and David K. Cohen, The Shopping Mall High School: Winners and Losers in the Educational Marketplace, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

    126. Debbie Goldberg, “A Room for Every Lifestyle,” Washington Post–Education Review, October 26, 1997, pp. 1, 8.

    127. George Ritzer, “McUniversity in the Postmodern Consumer Culture,” Quality in Higher Education 2 (1996): 185–199.

    128. Rene Sanchez, “Colleges Turning Virtual Classrooms Into a Reality,” Washington Post, March 27, 1997, pp. A1, A18; http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/who_we_are.asp

    129. http://welcome.phoenix.edu/online/default.asp

    130. Christine Laine and Frank Davidoff, “Patient-Centered Medicine: A Professional Evolution,” Journal of the American Medical Association 275 (January 10, 1996): 152ff.

    131. As well as theme parks; see Margaret J. King, “The Theme Park Experience: What Museums Can Learn from Mickey Mouse,” Futurist 25 (1991): 24–31.

    132. http://www.metmuseum.org/store/index.asp?HomePageLink=store_l

    133. Ada Louise Huxtable, The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion, New York: New Press, 1997, p. 85.

    134. http://shop.louvre.fr/

    135. Margaret Crawford, “The World in a Shopping Mall,” in Michael Sorkin (ed.), Variations on a Theme Park, New York: Hill and Wang, 1992, p. 30.

    136. Claudia Dreifus, “Talking Shop,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 83ff.

    137. Joshua Harris Prager, “Out of Ideas: Give a Goat or a Seaweed Body Wrap,” Wall Street Journal, December 23, 1997, pp. B1, B11.

    138. And it is beginning to use another new means of consumption—e-commerce—in order to raise funds. See Sharon Theimer, Associated Press Online, September 13, 2003.

    139. Gustav Niebuhr, “Where Shopping-Mall Culture Gets a Big Dose of Religion,” New York Times, April 16, 1995, pp. 1, 14; Linda Perlstein, “The Rock of Ages Tries the Rock of Youth,” Washington Post, July 18, 1998, p. A3.

    140. Niebuhr, “Where Shopping-Mall Culture,” p. 1.

    141. Ibid., p. 14.

    142. James Barron, “A Church's Chief Executive Seeks the Target Audience,” New York Times, April 18, 1995, p. A20.

    1. Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.

    2. Paco Underhill, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000; Paco Underhill, Call of the Mall, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.

    3. As I will discuss in more detail later, credit cards are not a means of consumption, but they do facilitate their use by consumers.

    4. There is a substantial literature on shopping, but it is only a part of our concern and does not well describe the relationship between consumers and many of the new means of consumption, especially cruise ships, casinos, theme parks, eatertainment centers, and so on. See Sharon Zukin, Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture, New York: Routledge, 2004.

    5. Because of the huge size of the American market, many products, especially imports like consumer electronics, are available at rock-bottom prices.

    6. See a special issue of the Journal of Consumer Culture 4, 2 (2004), edited by Dan Cook on “children's consumer culture.”

    7. Ellen Goodman, “Zapping Christmas,” Washington Post, December 20, 1997, p. A21.

    8. Michael F. Jacobson and Laurie Ann Mazur, Marketing Madness: A Survival Guide for a Consumer Society, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995.

    9. In this, they are much like the tobacco companies and their efforts to hook teenagers on cigarettes.

    10. Gary Cross, Kids’ Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

    11. Gary Cross, “The Plight Before Christmas: How the Toy Market Outgrew Grown-Ups,” Washington Post, December 21, 1997, p. C1.

    12. George Ritzer, Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1995; Robert Manning, Credit Card Nation, New York: Basic Books, 2000.

    13. And the facilitating means themselves need facilitators. For example, wider scale credit card use on the Internet needed greater trust in the reliability of methods of encryption.

    14. http://www.apple.com/itunes/store/

    15. Abraham Genauer, “Airport Retailers Thrive Despite Post–9-11 Travel Dip,” The Hill, May 14, 2003, p. 40.

    16. Ann Smart Martin, “Makers, Buyers, and Users,” Wintherthur Portfolio 28 (1993): 141–157.

    17. A number of other experts trace the origins of mass consumption in the United States to the 1920s, the shift from a mentality of scarcity to one of abundance and the rise of modern advertising.

    18. William Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture, New York: Pantheon, 1993, p. 3.

    19. Susan Strasser has analyzed the new means of consumption in turn-of-the-century America in the context of a larger discussion of the creation of a mass market for consumer goods. See Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market, New York: Pantheon, 1989.

    20. On the decline of the department store, especially in New York City, see Adam Gopnik, “Under One Roof: The Death and Life of the New York Department Store,” The New Yorker, September 22, 2003, p. 92ff.

    21. Leach, Land of Desire, p. 269.

    22. Rosalind Williams, Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-Century France, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

    23. Americans are not the only ones obsessed with consumption. For a discussion of the Japanese case, see John Clammer, Contemporary Urban Japan: A Sociology of Consumption, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1997.

    24. April Witt, “Acquiring Minds: Inside America's All-Consuming Passion,” Washington Post Magazine, December 14, 2003, p. W14.

    25. Benjamin Barber, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, New York: W. W. Norton, 2007.

    26. For a diametrically opposite view on at least part of this, see Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, New York: Basic Books, 2003.

    27. Juliet B. Schor, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, New York: Basic Books, 1991, p. 109.

    28. Clammer also uses the term hyperconsumption to describe contemporary Japanese consumption; see Clammer, Contemporary Urban Japan, p. 54.

    29. Stephen E. Lankenau, Native Sons: A Social Exploration of Panhandling, doctoral dissertation, College Park, MD, 1997.

    30. Given this focus on consumption, I have opted not to discuss the situation confronting the millions of people who work in or on behalf of the cathedrals of consumption. This is an important issue, worthy of a book of its own.

    31. Robert Manning, Credit Card Nation, New York: Basic Books, 2000.

    32. Robert J. Samuelson, “Shades of the 1920s?” Washington Post, April 22, 1998, p. A23.

    33. “North Americans Swimming in Debt,” Ottawa Citizen, January 6, 2004, p. D4.

    34. Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer, New York: Basic Books, 1998, p. 20.

    35. Ritzer, Expressing America.

    36. http://www.money-zine.com/Financial-Planning/Debt-Consolidation/Credit-Card-Debt-Statistics/

    37. The Japanese have managed to engage in hyperconsumption while remaining largely opposed to debt and reliant on a cash economy. See Clammer, Contemporary Urban Japan.

    38. http://www.synovate.com/news/article/2008/11/us-households-will-receive-one-billion-fewer-credit-card-offers-in2008.html

    39. Jacob N. Schlesinger, “Are Lenders Letting Optimism Go Too Far?” Wall Street Journal, April 20, 1998, p. A1. However, the number of such solicitations dropped a bit in 2003 due to, among other things, higher mailing costs and a declining response rate; see Reed Albergotti, “Something Missing from Your Mailbox?” Chicago Sun-Times, November 6, 2003, p. 3.

    40. Schor, The Overspent American, pp. 20–21.

    41. Marc Fisher, “Naming Your Price,” Washington Post, June 30, 1997, p. C2.

    42. See ibid., pp. C1, C2, for a discussion of at least one exception to this.

    43. Another recent innovation designed to increase consumption is mechanisms built into products that demonstrate to consumers that it is time to replace them. Examples include razors with strips that fade indicating that the blade needs to be replaced, beer cans with brewing dates designed to encourage consumers to discard stale beer (even though beer can last for years), and toothbrushes with blue bristles that fade, indicating that it is time to replace the brushes. See Dana Canedy, “Where Nothing Lasts Forever,” New York Times, April 24, 1998, pp. C1, C3.

    44. Malcolm Gladwell, “The Science of Shopping,” New Yorker, November 4, 1996, pp. 66–75.

    45. Margaret Crawford, “The World in a Shopping Mall,” in Michael Sorkin (ed.), Variations on a Theme Park, New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1992, p. 13.

    46. Marc Fisher, “Where Hunters Gather,” Washington Post Magazine, September 3, 1995, p. 20.

    47. Albert B. Crenshaw, “How Direct-Mail Marketers Are Pushing the Envelope,” Washington Post, March 17, 1996, pp. H1, H5.

    48. “Winning the Grocery Game,” Consumer Reports, August 1997, pp. 10–17.

    49. Of course, consumers do not always buy, or buy as much as they are “supposed” to. Furthermore, consumers may actively resist and rebel against the new means of consumption. They may also use the cathedrals in ways unanticipated by those who designed and manage them.

    50. Émile Zola, Au Bonheur des Dames, Lausanne, Switzerland: Editions Rencontre, n.d.

    51. See, for example, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, New York: William Morrow, 1980; Philip Kotler, “Prosumers: A New Type of Consumer?” Futurist 20 (1986): 24–29; Daniel Zwick, Samuel K. Bonsu, and Aron Darmody, “Putting Consumers to Work: ‘Co-Creation’ and New Marketing Govern-mentality.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (2008): 163–196; Ashlee Humphreys and Kent Grayson, “The Intersecting Roles of Consumer and Producer: A Critical Perspective on Co-Production, Co-Creation and Prosumption,” Sociology Compass 2 (2008): 963–980; Chunyan Xie, Richard P. Bagozzi, and Sigurd V. Troye, “Trying to Prosume: Toward a Theory of Consumers as Co-Creators of Value,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 36 (2008): 109–122; George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson, “Production, Consumption, Prosumption: The Nature of Capitalism in the Age of the Digital Prosumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture, forthcoming; George Ritzer, “Focusing on the Prosumer: On Correcting an Error in the History of Social Theory.” Keynote address presented at the Conference on Prosumption, Frankfurt, Germany, March 2009.

    52. It could also be argued that prosumption has historically been the rule and that we have tended, in part because of the seeming predominance of production during and long after the Industrial Revolution, to not only distinguish production from consumption but also to privilege production. See George Ritzer, “Focusing on the Prosumer: On Correcting an Error in the History of Social Theory.” Keynote address presented at the Conference on Prosumption, Frankfurt, Germany, March 2009.

    53. Karin Knorr Cetina, “Postsocial Relations: Theorizing Sociality in a Postsocial Environment,” in George Ritzer and Barry Smart (eds.), Handbook of Social Theory, London: Sage, 2001, pp. 520–537.

    54. Although the Barbie's dominance was threatened by another American product, the hipper “Bratz” doll. See Charles Laurence, “Beat It Barbie,” Sunday Telegraph (London), December 23, 2003, p. 01ff.; Ruth La Ferla, “Notice: Underdressed and Hot Dolls Moms Don't Love,” New York Times, October 26, 2003, section 9, p. iff.

    55. Kevin Sullivan, “Barbie Doll: Japan's New Look,” Washington Post, December 16, 1996, p. A20.

    56. However, there are limits to this, as Mars Inc. candy makers discovered in Russia, where its America-oriented ads, as well as a general return to “Russianness,” led to a backlash and renewed interest in “real Russian chocolate.” See Christian Caryl, “We Will Bury You … with a Snickers Bar,” U.S. News & World Report, January 26, 1998, pp. 50, 52; see also Daniel Williams, “Advertisers Cash in on Things Russian,” Washington Post, June 12, 1998, p. A16.

    57. Edwin McDowell, “Bazaar; Megamalls; Dropping in to Shop,” Orange County Register, August 4, 1996, p. D4.

    58. Richard F. Kuisel, Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

    59. John Vidal, Counter Culture vs. Burger Culture, London: Macmillan, 1997.

    60. McDonald's sued two members of Greenpeace for passing out leaflets critical of the company. The trial ran for more than 2 years, becoming the longest running trial in the history of Great Britain. The judge's decision in mid-1997 was generally seen as a partial and Pyrrhic victory for McDonald's. The case became the rallying cry for a large number of individuals and groups critical of McDonald's on a wide variety of grounds.

    61. Jane Perlez, “A McDonald's? Not in Their Medieval Square,” New York Times, May 23, 1994, p. A4.

    62. Of course, with capitalism now triumphant throughout virtually the entire world, the conditions (e.g., hyperexploitation) may be being put into place to allow for the reemergence of a radical alternative to capitalism.

    63. http://asis.news.yahoo.com/031215/ap/d7vf2jn80.html; http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/invest/pub/2007_annual_report.html

    64. http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/invest/pub/2007_annual_report.html

    65. http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/invest/pub/2007_annual_report.html

    66. McDonald's Corporation, The Annual: McDonald's Corporation Annual Report, Chicago: Author, 1996.

    67. http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/invest/pub/2007_annual_report.html

    68. Judith H. Dobrzynski, “The American Way,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 79ff.

    69. Jim Fox, “Category Killers Mount Major Canadian Invasion; US Retailers in Canada,” Discount Store News, vol. 34, July 17, 1995, p. 44ff.

    70. Uri Ram, “McDonaldization,” Chapter 6 in The Globalization of Israel: McWorld in Tel Aviv, Jihad in Jerusalem, New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 179–205.

    71. David Horovitz, “Big Macs Challenge the Cuisine of the Kibbutz,” Irish Times, July 21, 1995, p. 8.

    72. Michael Freeman, “Cubicov Zirconiumich: US-Produced Russian Home Shopping Show ‘TV Style,’” Mediaweek, vol. 5, June 5, 1995, p. 12ff.

    73. Avy Hoffman, “Dally by the Danube,” Jerusalem Post, February 8, 2002, p. 26ff.

    74. Robert Muraskin, “Hungary to Shop, American Style,” Washington Post, November 29, 1996, p. B12.

    75. Keith B. Richburg, “Attention, Shenzen Shoppers!” Washington Post, February 12, 1997, p. C14.

    76. Mai Hoang, “The Americanization of Vietnam,” Washington Post, May 11, 1997, p. A25.

    77. Kevin Sullivan, “Saigon Goes to the Superbowl: American-Style Mall Draws Young, Newly Affluent Vietnamese,” Washington Post, June 6, 1997, p. A29.

    78. Jonathan Friedland, “Can Yanks Export Good Times to Latins?” Wall Street Journal, March 6, 1997, p. A11.

    79. Ibid., p. A11.

    80. Dana Thomas, “La Mall Epoque,” Washington Post, January 3, 1997, p. D6.

    81. Ibid., p. D6.

    82. Ibid., p. D6.

    83. Jeff Kaye, “Invasion of the Discounters: American-Style Bargain Shopping Comes to the United Kingdom,” Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1994, p. D1ff.

    84. Peter Jones, “Factory Outlet Shopping Centres and Planning Issues,” International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 23, January 1995, p. 12ff.

    85. Kaye, “Invasion of the Discounters,” p. D1ff.

    86. Friedland, “Can Yanks Export Good Times to Latins?” p. A11.

    87. Ibid., p. A11.

    88. Clammer, Contemporary Urban Japan, p. 72.

    89. Judith H. Dobrzynski, “The American Way,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 79ff.

    90. http://www.wordspy.com/words/generica.asp

    91. Gabriel Escobar and Anne Swardson, “From Language to Literature, a New Guiding Lite,” Washington Post, September 5, 1995, p. A1ff.

    92. Justin Arenstein, “Tourism Boom Expected for Mpumalanga,” Africa News, May 27, 1997.

    93. James L. Watson (ed.), Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.

    94. Mary Yoko Brannen, “‘Bwana Mickey’: Constructing Cultural Consumption at Tokyo Disneyland,” in Joseph Tobin (ed.), Remade in Japan: Everyday Life and Consumer Taste in a Changing Society, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992, pp. 216–234; John Van Maanen, “Displacing Disney: Some Notes on the Flow of Culture,” Qualitative Sociology 15 (1992): 5–35.

    95. Thomas L. Friedman, “Big Mac II,” New York Times, December 11, 1996, p. A21.

    96. Kenneth J. Cooper, “It's Lamb Burger, Not Hamburger, at Beefless McDonald's in New Delhi,” Washington Post, November 4, 1996, p. A14.

    1. It is increasingly difficult to separate them. In many of the new means of consumption, consumers produce their own consumption. For example, by pouring their own drinks or making their own salad, consumers are helping to produce their own meals.

    2. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, New York: Modern Library, 1789/1994.

    3. Karl Marx, Capital: Volume Two, New York: Vintage, 1884/1981, p. 471.

    4. Ibid., p. 471.

    5. Ibid., p. 479.

    6. Ibid., p. 479.

    7. Smith (1789/1994, p. 938) does not make this error, labeling what Marx calls the means of consumption “consumable commodities.” Marx, like Smith, is really dealing with consumer goods and not with the kinds of structures that are discussed in this book as the means of consumption.

    8. However, as we have already seen and will have occasion to examine further, there is a sense in which we “consume” means of consumption such as the fast-food restaurant.

    9. As the reader will see, I will waffle a bit on whether the consumer is, like the worker, exploited.

    10. Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1907/1978, p. 477; Rosalind H. Williams, Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-Century France, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982, p. 95; Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

    11. Jean Baudrillard, The Consumer Society, London: Sage, 1970/1998.

    12. Sheila Rothenberg and Robert S. Rothenberg, “The Pleasures of Paris,” USA Today (Magazine), March 1993, p. 38ff.

    13. Baudrillard also discusses the credit card, which is an important example of what has been termed facilitating means.

    14. Mike Gane, Baudrillard's Bestiary: Baudrillard and Culture, London: Routledge, 1991, p. 65.

    15. Paul Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966.

    16. Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer, New York: Basic Books, 1998, p. 20.

    17. Ibid.

    18. Ira Chinoy and Charles Babington, “Low-Income Players Feed Lottery Cash Cow,” Washington Post, May 3, 1998, pp. A1, A22; Charles Babington and Ira Chinoy, “Lotteries Lure Players with Slick Marketing,” Washington Post, May 4, 1998, pp. A1, A10.

    19. Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974; Richard Edwards, Contested Terrain: The Transformation of the Workplace in the Twentieth Century, New York: Basic Books, 1979.

    20. Cited in Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds.), From Max Weber, New York: Oxford University Press, 1958, p. 128.

    21. Or at least less. In fact, because the three types of authority are also “ideal types,” each appears, at least to some degree, in all particular cases of the exercise of authority.

    22. Max Weber, Economy and Society, 3 vols., Totowa, NJ: Bedminster, 1921/1968, p. 223.

    23. Ibid., p. 1156.

    24. Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New York: Scribner's, 1904–5/1958, p. 54.

    25. However, as we will see, there is an important trend toward less objective, dematerialized means of consumption.

    26. The idea of a “neon cage” has been employed by Lauren Langman to analyze one of the new means of consumption—the shopping mall. Langman takes a Marxian, rather than a Weberian, view of malls, but he nonetheless sees them as isolated structures in which everything—from temperature to merchant displays to people—is controlled. To his credit, Langman also sees malls as producers of fantasies and dreamlike states. See Lauren Langman, “Neon Cages: Shopping for Subjectivity,” in Rob Shields (ed.), Lifestyle Shopping: The Subject of Consumption, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 40–82.

    27. Mark A. Schneider, Culture and Enchantment, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. ix.

    28. Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills, “Introduction,” in Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds.), From Max Weber, New York: Oxford University Press, 1958, p. 51.

    29. Schneider, Culture and Enchantment, p. ix.

    30. Ibid., p. xiii.

    31. It appears also in his writings on law. Weber argues, “Inevitably, the notion must expand that the law is a rational technical apparatus … and devoid of all sacredness of content.” In other words, law grows increasingly disenchanted. Weber, Economy and Society, p. 895.

    32. Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation,” in Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds.), From Max Weber, New York: Oxford University Press, 1958, p. 139.

    33. Colin Campbell, The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1989.

    34. Ibid.

    35. This is so at least in the form of being emotional about not showing emotion.

    36. Campbell, The Romantic Ethic, p. 153.

    37. Of course, they are successful to varying degrees. Some consumers may find a cathedral of consumption quite enchanting, whereas others will fail to see its enchanting qualities. Most, of course, will stand somewhere in between.

    38. Schneider, Culture and Enchantment, p. x.

    39. Benjamin clearly relates arcades to religious structures. In one instance, he describes an arcade as a “nave with side chapel” (p. 37). Of course, the arcade is not the only cathedral of consumption to have this quality and character. Benjamin describes department stores as temples consecrated to religious intoxication (p. 61). It could be argued that all of the settings of consumption discussed by Benjamin, indeed many settings to this day, have such a religious quality, at least to some extent. See Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1999.

    40. Benjamin discusses many other means of consumption such as “winter gardens, panoramas, factories, wax museums, casinos, railroad stations” (p. 405).

    41. Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century,” in Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, New York: Schocken, 1986, pp. 146–147.

    42. Cited in Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989, p. 38.

    43. Cited in ibid., p. 83; Benjamin, The Arcades Project, p. 37.

    44. Cited in Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing, p. 83.

    45. Cited in ibid., p. 92.

    46. Cited in ibid., p. 23.

    47. That is just what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (Empire, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000) do, although the proletariat is replaced by the “multitude” as the potentially revolutionary force.

    48. Cited in Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing, p. 271.

    49. Cited in ibid., p. 159.

    50. Cited in ibid., p. 271.

    51. Cited in ibid., p. 284.

    52. William Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power and the Rise of a New American Culture, New York: Pantheon, 1993, p. 15.

    53. Cited in Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing, p. 33.

    54. Wallace Fowlie, Age of Surrealism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1950.

    55. Williams, Dream Worlds, p. 67.

    56. Although Williams's work is discussed in this section, her research does not fit comfortably under the heading of neo-Weberian theory. However, she is dealing with the issue of enchantment.

    57. Williams, Dream Worlds, pp. 70–71.

    58. Michael B. Miller, The Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869–1920, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981.

    59. Ibid., p. 68.

    60. Ibid., p. 71.

    61. Campbell, The Romantic Ethic, p. 227.

    62. George Ritzer, Postmodern Social Theory, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

    63. Zygmunt Bauman, Intimations of Postmodernity, London: Routledge, 1992.

    64. Eva Illouz, Consuming the Romantic Utopia, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997, p. 13.

    65. Baudrillard, The Consumer Society.

    66. Pauline Marie Rosenau, Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences: Insights, Inroads, and Intrusions, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992, p. 6.

    67. Jean Baudrillard, The Mirror of Production, St. Louis, MO: Telos Press, 1973/1975, p. 83.

    68. Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, London: Sage, 1976/1993.

    69. Clammer offers a powerful critique of Baudrillard by demonstrating the continued importance of the gift, and thereby symbolic exchange, in contemporary Japan. See John Clammer, Contemporary Urban Japan: A Sociology of Consumption, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1997.

    70. The reader might want to think of other aspects of the American society from this point of view. For example, this helps us understand the popularity, not too many years ago, of the television show and movie The X-Files.

    71. Zygmunt Bauman, Postmodern Ethics, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1993, p. 33.

    72. Jean Baudrillard, Fatal Strategies, New York: Semiotext(e), 1983/1990, p. 51.

    73. Illouz does much the same thing; see Illouz, Consuming the Romantic Utopia, p. 17.

    1. George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society 5, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 2008.

    2. William Severini Kowinski, The Malling of America: An Inside Look at the Great Consumer Paradise, New York: William Morrow, 1985, p. 61.

    3. Mark Marymount, “A Sound Idea: Music Catalogs Hit All the Right Notes for Some Shoppers,” Chicago Tribune—Your Money, April 5, 1995, p. 1ff.

    4. Sandra S. Vance and Roy V. Scott, A History of Sam Walton's Retail Phenomenon, New York: Twayne, 1994, p. 135.

    5. Robert Bryce, “Merchant of Death,” Texas Monthly, June 1996, p. 58ff.

    6. Dean Takahashi, “Little Caesar's Plans ‘Big! Big!!’ Pizzas, While Keeping the Price Structure the Same,” Wall Street Journal, September 2, 1997, p. B10.

    7. George Ritzer, “McDonald's Cooks Up a Fresh Serving of PR,” Newsday, March 17, 2004, p. A41.

    8. Philip Elmer-DeWitt, “Fat Times,” Time, January 16, 1995, pp. 60–65.

    9. “Loose slots” are those that pay out the most frequently.

    10. The desire to offer low prices puts great pressure on manufacturers, especially in Third World countries, to keep costs and wages low.

    11. Although, as we will see, Disney World is also in a sense a shopping mall oriented to getting people to spend far more than they do on their daily pass.

    12. G. Bruce Knecht, “Book Superstores Bring Hollywood-Like Risks to Publishing Business,” Wall Street Journal, May 29, 1997, pp. A1, A6.

    13. Chris Anderson, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, New York: Hyperion, 2006.

    14. Marc Fisher, “Where Hunters Gather,” Washington Post Magazine, September 3, 1995, pp. 31–32. Used with permission.

    15. Christina Binkley, “A Day with a High Roller,” Wall Street Journal, May 1, 1998, p. W1.

    16. Margaret Webb Pressler, “2 With Reservations at the Gourmet Table,” Washington Post, April 24, 1998, pp. F1, F4.

    17. http://ir.papajohns.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=115556&p=irol-irhome

    18. Richard Gibson, “Popular Pizza Chain's Gimmick Is Taste,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 1997, pp. B1, B10.

    19. Ibid., pp. B1, B10.

    20. George Ritzer, The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions, London: Sage, 1998.

    21. Robin Leidner, Fast Food, Fast Talk: Service Work and the Routinization of Everyday Life, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, pp. 45–47.

    22. David Wolitz, “Hard Rock Absurdity,” San Francisco Daily Online! August 15, 1996.

    23. Paul Goldberger, “The Sameness of Things,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 56ff.

    24. Ibid., p. 56ff.

    25. Wal-Mart exercises the usual kinds of control McDonaldized systems have over customers, as well as one that is fairly unique. It censors the words and images on CDs sold in its stores. Some disks are marked: “Sanitized for your protection.” Customers are not allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to listen to the forbidden lyrics or view the proscribed images. See “American Survey,” The Economist, November 23, 1996, pp. 27–28.

    26. Vance and Scott, A History of Sam Walton's Retail Phenomenon, p. 93.

    27. Kowinski, The Malling of America.

    28. Margaret Crawford, “The World in a Shopping Mall,” in Michael Sorkin (ed.), Variations on a Theme Park, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1992, p. 14.

    29. Kowinski, The Malling of America, p. 359.

    30. Ibid., p. 349.

    31. Ibid., p. 354.

    32. Ibid., p. 343.

    33. William G. Staples, The Culture of Surveillance: Discipline and Social Control in the United States, New York: St. Martin's, 1997.

    34. David Dillon, “Fortress America: More and More of Us Are Living Behind Locked Gates,” Planning 60 (1994): 8ff.

    35. Karen E. Klein, “Code Blues: Rules That Govern Life in Homeowners Associations Are Being Challenged in Court by Angry Owners,” Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1995, p. K1ff.

    36. Cited in Staples, The Culture of Surveillance, p. 64.

    37. Judith A. Adams, The American Amusement Park Industry: A History of Technology and Thrills, Boston: Twayne, 1991, p. 111.

    38. Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York: Vintage, p. 216.

    39. Mike Davis, City of Quartz, London: Verso, 1990.

    40. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p. 298.

    41. John O'Neill, “The Disciplinary Society: From Weber to Foucault,” British Journal of Sociology 37 (1986): 42–60.

    42. George Ritzer, “Islands of the Living Dead: The Social Geography of McDonaldization,” American Behavioral Scientist (special issue) 47(2, 2003): 119–136.

    43. Erving Goffman, Asylums, Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1961, p. xiii.

    44. Louis A. Zurcher Jr., “The Sailor Aboard Ship: A Study of Role Behavior in a Total Institution,” Social Forces 53 (1965): 389–400.

    45. Gary Gumpert and Susan J. Drucker, “From the Agora to the Electronic Shopping Mall,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 9 (1992): 186–200.

    46. Laura Billings, “Click on Triple Rinsed Mesclun,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 34ff.

    47. Although in other contexts, rationality and reason are often used interchangeably, they are here employed to mean antithetical phenomena.

    48. Cited in Vance and Scott, A History of Sam Walton's Retail Phenomenon, p. 126.

    49. Rene Sanchez, “Colleges Turning Virtual Classrooms into a Reality,” Washington Post, March 27, 1997, pp. A1, A8.

    50. Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate, New York: Doubleday, 1992, pp. 10–11.

    51. Ibid., p. 39.

    52. Ibid., pp. 241–242.

    53. As we will see, great spaces, large sizes, and the like can have, or be made to appear to have, a magical character.

    54. Ada Louise Huxtable, The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion, New York: New Press, 1997, p. 61.

    55. Christina Binkley, “Starless Nights in the ‘New’ Las Vegas,” Wall Street Journal, May 9, 1997, p. B1.

    56. This can be traced to the first Ferris wheel at the 1893 Chicago Exposition, and perhaps even before that. But whatever its origins, we are amazed by the new technologies.

    1. Teena Hammond, “Inland Empire Focus: Entertaining the Shopper,” The Business Press/California, September 23, 1996, p. 1.

    2. James Bernstein, “Retailers: Let Us Entertain You, Too,” Newsday, October 20, 1996, p. F8ff.

    3. Mike Featherstone, Consumer Culture and Postmodernism, London: Sage, 1991, p. 103.

    4. Kevin Fox Gotham, “Marketing Mardi Gras: Commodification, Spectacle, and the Political Economy of Tourism in New Orleans,” Urban Studies 39 (September 2002): 1735–1756.

    5. Michael B. Miller, The Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869–1920, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 173.

    6. William Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture, New York: Pantheon, 1993.

    7. Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, New York: Zone, 1967/1994.

    8. Ibid., p. 16.

    9. Ibid., p. 16.

    10. Ibid., p. 26.

    11. Ibid., p. 26.

    12. David Chaney, Fictions of Collective Life, London: Routledge, 1993.

    13. M. M. Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968; P. Stallybrass and A. White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression, London: Methuen, 1986.

    14. Another of Chaney's distinctions is between spectacular society and the society of the spectacle.

    15. Although we often talk in this book as if the cathedrals of consumption act, it is clearly the case that it is those people who design, control, and work in them who take the actions. We must be wary of reifying the new means of consumption.

    16. On the importance of crowds to consumption, see John Clammer, Contemporary Urban Japan: A Sociology of Consumption, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1997.

    17. William N. Thompson, J. Kent Pinney, and John A. Schibrowsky, “The Family That Gambles Together: Business and Social Concerns,” Journal of Travel Research 34 (1996): 70–74.

    18. Ann Conway, “Siegfried Without His Roy,” Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2003, p. E1.

    19. Kenneth Labich, “Gambling's Kings: On a Roll and Raising Their Bets,” Fortune, July 22, 1996, p. 82.

    20. Rick Bragg, “Las Vegas Is Booming After City Reinvention,” New York Times, May 4, 1997, p. 22.

    21. Neil Postman, “The Las Vegasizing of America,” National Forum, Summer 1982, p. 6.

    22. Hugh Hart, “Dave & Buster's Offers Fun by Day for the Whole Family,” Chicago Tribune, April 4, 1997, p. 73.

    23. Rainforest Cafe Web site, http://www.rainforestcafe.com/

    24. Glenn Collins, “Egg McMuffins, Priced to Move,” New York Times, April 4, 1997, p. C1.

    25. Doris Hajewski, “Gurnee Mills Aiming to Give Shoppers Fun Time,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Business, March 12, 1997, p. 1.

    26. Paul Goldberger, “The Store Strikes Back,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 45ff.

    27. http://www1.toysrus.com/TimesSquare/dsp_home.cfm; thanks to Jon Lemich for bringing this and much else to my attention.

    28. Goldberger, “The Store Strikes Back,” p. 45ff.

    29. Roxanne Roberts, “High-Browse Fun,” Washington Post, April 3, 1997, p. C1.

    30. Ibid., p. C8.

    31. Ibid., p. C8.

    32. Goldberger, “The Store Strikes Back,” p. 45ff.

    33. Ann Carrns, “Skyscrapers Try to Top Same Old Thrill,” Wall Street Journal, April 11, 1997, p. B1.

    34. Jean Baudrillard, Simulations, New York: Semiotext(e), 1983, p. 4.

    35. Ibid., p. 15.

    36. Ibid., p. 23.

    37. Unfortunately, for lovers of simulations, it has recently been closed, but there are many others to choose from at a Disney theme park.

    38. Christina Binkley, “Gambling on Culture: Casinos Invest in Fine Art,” Wall Street Journal, April 15, 1998, p. B10.

    39. Ada Louise Huxtable, The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion, New York: New Press, 1997, pp. 64, 65.

    40. Ibid., p. 3. Unlike Baudrillard, Huxtable does have a sense of the real as, for example, “an architecture integrated into life and use” (p. 3).

    41. Ada Louise Huxtable, “Living With the Fake and Liking It,” New York Times, March 30, 1997, section 2, p. 1. Used with permission.

    42. Ibid., p. 40. Used with permission.

    43. Huxtable, The Unreal America, p. 50.

    44. Ibid., p. 101.

    45. Robin Leidner, Fast Food, Fast Talk: Service Work and the Routinization of Everyday Life, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

    46. Alfred Schutz, The Phenomenology of the Social World, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1932/1967.

    47. Amy Waldman, “Lonely Hearts, Classy Dreams, Empty Wallets: Home Shopping Networks,” Washington Monthly 27 (June 1995): 10ff.

    48. Now, lamentably, all but defunct.

    49. Of course, the real Old West has been filtered for so long through the simulations of movies and television shows that it is difficult to even have a glimmer of what it “really” was.

    50. Norman K. Denzin, The Cinematic Society: The Voyeur's Gaze, London: Sage, 1995.

    51. Don Kaplan, “Retail Hot Spots: New Retail Centers Differentiate Themselves From Megamalls,” Daily News Record, February 10, 1997, p. 22.

    52. This is the site, by the way, of the haunted hotel in the classic horror novel-cum-movie The Shining.

    53. Kaplan, “Retail Hot Spots,” p. 22.

    54. Mark Gottdiener, The Theming of America, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997, p. 147.

    55. David Littlejohn, “They Took Manhattan—To the Desert,” Wall Street Journal, January 21, 1997, p. A16.

    56. William Booth, “Planet Mouse: At Disney's Tomorrowland, the Future Is a Timid Creature,” Washington Post, June 24, 1998, pp. D1, D8.

    57. Peter Carlson, “At Animal Kingdom, a Disney Critic Smells a Rat,” Washington Post, June 24, 1998, p. D7.

    58. Alexander Stille, “Virtual Antiquities Could Help Real Icons Stand Test of Time,” Washington Post, December 25, 1995.

    59. Sam Walker, “Hair Salons, Hot Tubs and … Oh, Yeah, Basketball,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 1998, p. W6.

    60. Gottdiener, The Theming of America.

    61. Ossi was the easterners’ slang term for East German citizens.

    62. Cited in Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld, New York: Times Books, 1995, p. 133; italics added.

    63. http://www.frys.com

    64. Kathy M. Newbern and J. S. Fletcher, “Leisurely Cruise the Caribbean,” Washington Times, August 27, 1995. All is not lost; the McDonald's built on the island was forced (by lack of business) to close after 6 months.

    65. Susan Carey, “Ersatz Isles Lack Local Color, but the Bathrooms Shine,” Wall Street Journal, February 16, 1996, pp. B1, B5.

    66. Ibid., p. B1.

    67. Ibid., p. B1.

    68. Ibid., p. B1; italics added.

    69. Ibid., p. B5. They probably would if they were simulated.

    70. Huxtable, The Unreal America, p. 82.

    71. Shelby Grad, “Irvine With a Down Home Side? It's All in the Master Plan,” Los Angeles Times, Orange County Edition, July 8, 1996, p. B3.

    72. Russ Rhymer, “Back to the Future: Disney Reinvents the Company Town of Celebration, FL,” Harper's Magazine, October 1996, p. 65ff.

    73. Mike Williams, “Living With the Magic Kingdom,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, September 29, 1996, p. 14ff.

    74. Rhymer, “Back to the Future,” p. 66. Used with permission.

    75. Ibid., p. 67. Used with permission.

    76. Ibid., p. 68. Used with permission.

    77. Ibid., p. 75. Used with permission.

    1. Like much else to do with the cathedrals of consumption, implosions are not new, although they have accelerated in recent years. For example, a century and a half ago, the department store was created as a result of the implosion of boundaries separating a wide range of specialty shops.

    2. Jean Baudrillard, Simulations, New York: Semiotext(e), 1983, p. 57.

    3. Malcolm Waters, Globalization, London: Routledge, 1996.

    4. Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality, San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.

    5. Daniela Deane, “Theaters Explore Mergers, Fancy Megaplexes,” Washington Post–Business, December 31, 2003, pp. E1, E5.

    6. Peter McKay and Maryann Haggerty, “Entertaining New Mall Ideas,” Washington Post, June 19, 1998, pp. F1, F10.

    7. Anne Friedberg, Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, p. xi.

    8. Laura Bird, “Huge Mall Bets on Formula of Family Fun and Games,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 1997, pp. B1, B12.

    9. Ibid., p. B12.

    10. Michael Pretes, “Postmodern Tourism: The Santa Claus Industry,” Annals of Tourism Research 22 (1994): 1–15.

    11. Reuters, “American Express, America Online Hook Up,” Washington Post, January 31, 1995, p. D3.

    12. “Fast Food Speeds Up the Pace,” Time, August 26, 1985, p. 60.

    13. Christina Binkley, “Huge Casino Project Does the Unthinkable: It Rattles Las Vegas,” Wall Street Journal, December 4, 1997, pp. A1, A10.

    14. This may even be more true of the Japanese.

    15. Andy Dworkin, “Jurassic Jostling: Two Giant Malls Threaten to Steal Others’ Thunder,” Dallas Morning News, July 24, 1996, p. 1D.

    16. David Segal, “Our Love Affair With the Mall Is on the Rocks,” New York Times, January 31, 2009.

    17. Edwin McDowell, “Bazaar: Megamalls; Dropping in to Shop,” Orange County Register, August 4, 1996, p. D4.

    18. Segal, “Our Love Affair With the Mall;” Terry Pristin, “Commercial Real Estate: Giant Mall of America Plans to Be Even Bigger,” New York Times, August 27, 2003, p. C5.

    19. McDowell, “Bazaar: Megamalls,” p. D4.

    20. Rachel Spevack, “Nike in N.Y.: In the Starting Blocks,” WWD, October 29, 1996, p. 4ff.

    21. Naedine Joy Hazell, “The Sailings Grow in Popularity, Cruises and More, Seagoing Vacations Enhanced With Country Music, Irish Culture, Cigar Smoking,” Hartford Courant, September 15, 1996, p. F1.

    22. Judith Evans, “Catering to the Quick Food Fix,” Washington Post–Business, May 19, 1997, pp. 12–13.

    23. Margaret Webb Pressler, “Retailing's Quick Fix,” Washington Post, June 13, 1998, pp. D1, D3.

    24. Richard Panek, “Superstore Inflation,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 66ff.

    25. Ibid., p. 66ff.

    26. Lori Lincoln, “Scenes From a Mall,” Business Traveler, June 1998, p. 51.

    27. Margaret Webb Pressler, “Retailers, Restaurants Aim to Grab Some of Travelers’ Time,” Washington Post, July 16, 1997, p. F12.

    28. http://www.mspupdate.com/northstarcrossing.htm

    29. Lincoln, “Scenes From a Mall,” pp. 48–51.

    30. Ibid., pp. 48–51.

    31. Sam Walker, “Hair Salons, Hot Tubs and … Oh, Yeah, Baseball,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 1998, pp. W1, W6.

    32. Ibid., p. W6.

    33. Ibid., p. W6.

    34. Dave Kindred, “Luxurious New Ballparks Monuments to Greed,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, March 23, 1997, p. 03G.

    35. Paul Newberry, “Stadium Pace Has Questions,” Chattanooga Free Press, February 12, 1997, p. H8.

    36. Michelle Hiskey, “The Ballpark: It's Entertaiment,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, March 23, 1997, p. 02G.

    37. Ibid., p. 02G.

    38. I. J. Rosenbergh, “No Mickey Mouse Operation: Braves Are Going to Disney World,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, February 24, 1997, p. 01C. Disney owned the Anaheim Angels, and its Edison Stadium was refurbished to include a Disneyesque simulated rock formation beyond the centerfield fence.

    39. Derived from http://www.magictrips.com/beyond/wwos.shtml

    40. Peter Applebome, “Franchise Fever in the Ivory Tower,” New York Times Educational Life Supplement, April 2, 1995, section 4A, p. 16; cited in Mark Gottdiener, The Theming of America, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997, p. 91.

    41. Anne Friedberg, Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, p. xii.

    42. Arthur G. Powell, Eleanor Farrar, and David K. Cohen, The Shopping Mall High School: Winners and Losers in the Educational Marketplace, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

    43. Ibid., p. 8.

    44. Ibid., p. 8.

    45. Ibid., pp. 8–9.

    46. Ibid., p. 10.

    47. Jim Carlton, “A Vancouver Condo Irks the Neighbors, but Nobody Cares,” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 1998, p. A1.

    48. John M. Goshko, “New York Wrestles With King Kong–Size Retail Dilemma: Superstores,” Washington Post, April 13, 1997, p. A3.

    49. James T. Yenckel, “New York by Night: The New Times Square; The City Hasn't Dropped the Ball,” Washington Post–Travel, April 13, 1997, p. E6.

    50. Gary A. Warner, “Times Square Now ‘Great Whitewashed Way’: Heart of New York Gets G-Rated Refurbishment,” Arizona Republic, July 27, 1997, p. T14ff.

    51. See, for example, Scott Lash and John Urry, Economies of Signs and Space, London: Sage, 1994; Roger Friedland and Deirdre Boden (eds.), NowHere: Space, Time and Modernity, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

    52. Anthony Giddens, “A Reply to My Critics,” in D. Held and J. B. Thompson (eds.), Social Theory of Modern Societies: Anthony Giddens and His Critics, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. 249–301.

    53. For more on this idea, see Chapter 3.

    54. David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Inquiry Into the Origins of Cultural Change, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1989, p. 284.

    55. As such, they are an early example of making consumption “fun.”

    56. These experienced something of a revival, at least for a time. See Jacqueline L. Salmon, “Break Out the Tupperware: Home Is Where the Sell Is,” Washington Post, March 24, 1997, pp. A1, A12.

    57. Bloomberg News, “‘Do-Not-Call’ Gets Hearing,” Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2003, p. C9.

    58. Caroline E. Mayer, “Telemarketers Just Beginning to Answer Their Calling,” Washington Post, August 31, 1997, p. H1.

    59. Bloomberg News, “‘Do-Not-Call’ Gets Hearing,” p. C9.

    60. Being online has brought with it yet another type of intrusion into the home—“spam,” or unwanted junk e-mail often designed to lure recipients into buying goods or services.

    61. Johnny Johansson, In Your Face: How American Marketing Success Fuels Anti-Americanism, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004.

    62. Amy Waldman, “Lonely Hearts, Classy Dreams, Empty Wallets: Home Shopping Networks,” Washington Monthly 27 (June 1995): 10ff. Used with permission.

    63. See, for example, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, New York: William Morrow, 1980; Philip Kotler, “Prosumers: A New Type of Consumer?” Futurist 20 (1986): 24–29; Daniel Zwick, Samuel K. Bonsu, and Aron Darmody, “Putting Consumers to Work: ‘Co-Creation’ and New Marketing Govern-mentality.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (2008): 163–196; Ashlee Humphreys and Kent Grayson, “The Intersecting Roles of Consumer and Producer: A Critical Perspective on Co-Production, Co-Creation and Prosumption,” Sociology Compass 2 (2008): 963–980; Chunyan Xie, Richard P. Bagozzi, and Sigurd V. Troye, “Trying to Prosume: Toward a Theory of Consumers as Co-Creators of Value,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 36 (2008): 109–122; George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson, “Production, Consumption, Prosumption: The Nature of Capitalism in the Age of Digital Prosumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture, forthcoming; George Ritzer, “Focusing on the Prosumer: On Correcting an Error in the History of Social Theory.” Keynote address presented at the Conference on Prosumption, Frankfurt, Germany, March 2009.

    64. Murray Melbin, “Night as Frontier,” American Sociological Review 43 (1978): 3–22.

    65. As Juliet Schor has pointed out, the validity of this assertion depends on one's point of comparison.

    66. Linton Weeks, “In U.S., Nighttime Is the Right Time,” Washington Post, July 20, 1997, p. A1.

    67. Ibid., p. A16.

    68. This also goes for credit cards as facilitating means.

    69. Colin Campbell, The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1987.

    70. College students without jobs are often offered credit cards, however. Modern “bankers” eager to get as many credit cards issued as possible ask, Why should the lack of a job be an impediment to obtaining credit?

    71. It is true that the merchant must pay the credit card companies a small fee (2% to 4%, in general) on each transaction—a fee that would not be incurred in a cash transaction. However, it is also the case that many transactions take place that would not have were it not for credit cards.

    72. Larry Fox and Barbara Radin Fox, “Floating a Loan,” Washington Post, March 16, 1997, p. E4.

    73. Although its presence seemingly everywhere one turns and throughout much of the world is spectacular; see below.

    74. Michelle Wong, “Virtual Inventory,” Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), August 6, 1996, p. 1D.

    75. http://www.hotel-online.com/Trends/ChiangMaiJun00/CustomizationHospitality.html

    76. http://logosoftware.com

    77. Some of the other new means of consumption also serve to render time zones less relevant, or even irrelevant. If one is watching HSN or QVC, or shopping by catalog, it does not matter whether it is 9 A.M. on the East Coast or 6 A.M. on the West Coast. If one is shopping on the Internet, it is of no consequence whether one is doing it in the United States or at the same time in Australia, which is more or less a day later.

    78. Weeks, “In U.S., Nighttime Is the Right Time,” pp. A1, A16; see also http://www.24hour-mall.com

    79. It is interesting to note that these first three very different worlds are literally next door to one another on the Las Vegas Strip.

    80. http://investor.starbucks.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99518&p=irol-IRHome

    81. Dina ElBoghdady, “Pouring It On: The Starbucks Strategy? Locations, Locations, Locations,” Washington Post, August 25, 2002, p. H1ff.

    82. Dave McNary, “New High-Tech Arcades Aim to Redefine Theme Parks,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 3, 1997, p. D8.

    83. William Severini Kowinski, The Malling of America: An Inside Look at the Great Consumer Paradise, New York: William Morrow, 1985, pp. 216–217.

    84. Ibid., p. 218.

    85. Although the opportunity to see and explore huge spaces may draw us to the mall, once there, it is also necessary to break this huge expanse up into manageable spaces so that the consumer is impressed, but not overwhelmed, by the physical confines of the mall. The malls usually have wings, often anchored by a department store. Customers are simultaneously led to believe that they are in physically manageable settings and that they are in a much larger, nearly infinite shopping space to explore later or at some future date. The sense conveyed is that outside of a manageable wing is a seemingly infinite space yet to be explored.

    86. Pristin, “Commercial Real Estate,” p. C5.

    87. Edwin McDowell, “Sailings Worldwide: Not Just Cruise Ships Anymore,” New York Times, February 2, 1997, section 5, p. 13ff.

    88. http://www.cruisereviews.com/rci/

    89. http://www.webprowire.com/summaries/585722.html

    90. Larry Fox and Barbara Radin Fox, “Your Destiny Awaits,” Washington Post, December 8, 1996, p. E4.

    91. http://www.cruiseweb.com/CUNARD-QUEEN-MARY-2.HTM

    92. Rory Nugent. “Hope Floats,” The Atlantic, June 2009.

    93. It is worth remembering that it characterized the early arcades.

    94. Edward William Henry Jr., Portman: Architect and Entrepreneur, doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1985, p. 162.

    95. John Portman and Jonathan Barnett, The Architect as Developer, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976, pp. 74–76.

    96. Ibid., p. 10.

    97. Henry, Portman: Architect and Entrepreneur, p. 202.

    98. http://www.bloomingtonmn.org/mallofamerica.html

    99. Richard Panek, “Superstore Inflation,” New York Times, April 6, 1997, section 6, p. 66ff.

    100. “American Survey,” The Economist, November 23, 1996, pp. 27–28.

    1. This term has been used by others, most notably Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991; see also John Brinckerhoff Jackson, A Sense of Place, A Sense of Time, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994. However, as we will soon see, what Zukin means by this concept is not crystal clear and in any case is not precisely the same as the specific way it will be employed here. We could also think in terms of “landscapes of production”—for example, industrial parks or industrial zones—but that is not our concern here.

    2. Although, as we will see immediately, this distinction is not neat and clean.

    3. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1999, p. 827.

    4. The older, downtown area around Fremont Street and encompassing a number of older casinos was, as we have seen, redeveloped some years ago. The goal was to create a landscape of consumption that was more competitive with the Strip.

    5. George Ritzer and Todd Stillman, “The Postmodern Ballpark as a Leisure Setting: Enchantment and Simulated DeMcDonaldization,” Leisure Sciences 23 (2001): 99–113.

    6. Suzette Barta, Jason Martin, Jack Frye, and Mike D. Woods, “Trends in Retail Trade,” OSU Extension Facts, WF-565, n.d., p. 2.

    7. In terms of intellectual resources for this work, mention must also be made of the now almost forgotten Chicago school of urban ecology. It clearly anticipated the current interest in spatiality, and its effort to map the city in terms of a center, concentric zones, radial sectors, specialized enclaves, and so on is clearly useful.

    8. Edward W. Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, London: Verso, 1989.

    9. Ibid., p. 1.

    10. Ibid., p. 6.

    11. Ibid., p. 1.

    12. Michel Foucault, “Questions on Geography,” in C. Gordon (ed.), Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977, New York: Pantheon, 1980, p. 70.

    13. Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces,” Diacritics, Spring 1986, p. 22.

    14. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1991.

    15. Ibid., p. 410.

    16. Ibid., p. 405.

    17. Zukin, Landscapes of Power.

    18. Mike Crang, Cultural Geography, London: Routledge, 1998, p. 15.

    19. Ibid., p. 15.

    20. Zukin, Landscapes of Power, p. 16.

    21. Ibid., p. 19.

    22. Ibid., p. 269.

    23. The poor consumer is worth separate discussion.

    24. Zukin, Landscapes of Power, p. 6.

    25. Ibid., p. 254.

    26. Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism Socialism and Democracy, New York: Harper and Bros., 1950.

    27. We are focusing here on shopping streets, but there are many other types of landscapes of consumption. For example, the Broadway theater district in New York City, as well as its counterpart in London-Soho, could be considered more specific landscapes devoted to the consumption of theatrical performances.

    28. Of course, the church or cathedral, very early means of consumption, can be seen as offering experiences to the “consumer.”

    29. This magnificent opera and concert venue, constructed between 1776 and 1778, could also be seen as a cathedral, this time for the consumption of music and opera.

    30. This is a term for those who wander about various locales, including centers for shopping. It is found in the work of classic sociologists such as Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin.

    31. The religious significance of this, as well as much else about arcades and settings for consumption such as malls, should not be missed by the reader.

    32. John Pomfret, “Tempest Brews Over Coffee Shops: U.S. Chain Stirs Ire in Beijing's Forbidden City,” Washington Post, November 23, 2000, p. A40.

    33. Ray Oldenburg, The Great Good Place, New York: Paragon House, 1989.

    34. Barta et al., “Trends in Retail Trade,” p. 2.

    35. Underhill does not see this as so new; see Paco Underhill, Call of the Mall, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004, p. 210.

    36. Jim Welker, “Visionary's Quest,” The Columbus Dispatch, June 9, 2002, Business, p. 01E.

    37. Ibid., p. 01E.

    38. Edmund Mander, “Columbus Discovers Streetscape Concept,” Shopping Centers Today,http://www.icsc.org/srch/sct/current/sct1001/page1c.html

    39. Ibid.

    40. John Urry, “Tourism, Europe and Identity,” in Consuming Places, London: Routledge, 1995, p. 123.

    41. Underhill, Call of the Mall, p. 209.

    42. Michael Barbaro, “Retailers Embrace the Great Outdoors,” Washington Post–Business, December 1, 2003, pp. E1, E12.

    43. Eric M. Weiss, “‘Big-Box’ Stores Leave More Than a Void,” Washington Post, January 20, 2004, pp. B1, B3.

    44. Other lifestyle centers such as Bowie Town Center in Maryland do much the same thing. For example, its food court also resembles an old local train station, and above a woman's clothing shop is a sign reading “Bowie School, est. 1881.” See Barbaro, “Retailers Embrace the Great Outdoors,” p. E12.

    45. Ibid., p. E12.

    46. Mander, “Columbus Discovers Streetscape Concept.”

    47. Robert F. Worth, “Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down,” New York Times, February 12, 2009.

    48. http://www.ameinfo.com/133896.html

    49. Delays in many projected completion dates would not be surprising.

    50. http://www.madinatjumeirah.com/shopping; retrieved December 24, 2008.

    51. http://www.dubailandparks.com/

    52. Actually, they are simulations of simulations; second- (or third-) order simulations. The Venetian, Macau is a simulation of the “original” Venetian, Las Vegas, which, of course, is a simulation of the “real” Venice (itself now largely a simulation created for tourists).

    53. http://USATODAY.com, June 19, 2007; retrieved December 23, 2008.

    54. http://www.venetianmacau.com/en; retrieved December 23, 2008.

    55. Christopher Dickey, “Financial Paradise Becomes a MIRAGE,” Newsweek, December 15, 2008, p. 46.

    56. Which is part of a developing landscape of consumption called “Downtown Burj Dubai.”

    57. http://www.burjdubaiskyscraper.com

    58. Andrew Ross Sorkin, “Cash Crunch Halts Work on Dubai Skyscraper,” New York Times Deal Book, January 14, 2009; http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/cash-crunch-halts-work-on-dubai-skyscraper

    59. Dickey, “Financial Paradise Becomes a MIRAGE,” p. 46.

    60. Mark McDonald, “Chinese Officials Gamble, and Their Luck Runs Out,” New York Times, January 15, 2009, p. A10.

    61. http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1857376,00.html

    62. A similar development has occurred in Branson, Missouri, among other places; see below.

    63. Another major entrance into the national park lies in North Carolina via, among other routes, the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    64. There are some beautiful spots within view of Las Vegas or only a short drive from it (e.g., Red Rock Canyon), but relatively few visitors can be drawn away from the Strip and its casinos.

    65. Michael Flannagan, “Merchants Mull Future of Gatlinburg,” Knoxville News Sentinel, June 8, 2003, p. C1ff.

    1. What the then-head of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, called the economy's “irrational exuberance.”

    2. Terry Pristin, “Miami Monuments to Excess: Condo Colossus Becomes Symbol of a Building Boom Gone Bust,” New York Times, March 11, 2009, p. B7.

    3. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Helene Cooper, “Obama Says Failure to Act Could Lead to a ‘Catastrophe,’” New York Times, February 10, 2009, p. A1ff.

    4. Joel Garreau, “Big Box and Beyond,” Washington Post, November 16, 2008, pp. M1, M6.

    5. Stephanie Rosenbloom, “Malls Test Experimental Waters to Fill Vacancies,” New York Times, April 5, 2009, p. A22.

    6. Hiroko Tabuchi, “In Japan's Stagnant Decade, Cautionary Tales for America,” New York Times, February 13, 2009.

    7. Need is in quotes here because as Baurdrillard has argued, much of consumption has little to do with what people need. See Jean Baudrillard, The Consumer Society, London: Sage, 1970/1998.

    8. Kristina Shevory, “Mini Versions of Big-Box Stores,” New York Times, May 20, 2009, p. B5.

    9. Cited in Shevory, “Mini Versions of Big-Box Stores,” p. B5.

    10. http://www.shopping.yahoo.com/articles/vshoppingarticles/244/summer-top-pop-up-shops

    11. Stephanie Rosenbloom, “Don't Ask. You Can Afford It,” New York Times, May 2, 2009, pp. B1, B5.

    12. Alessandra Stanley, “A Dose of Deference and Earnest Showbiz,” New York Times, February 23, 2009.

    13. Dubai is not a significant producer of oil, but its neighbors, including others of the United Arab Emirates, are.

    14. Federal Reserve, “Credit Market Debt Outstanding,” March 6, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from http://www.federalreserve.gov/Releases/z1/Current/z1r-4.pdf. Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce, “GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: FOURTH QUARTER 2007 (FINAL).” Released March 27, 2008. Accessed April 10, 2008, from http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2008/pdf/gdp407f.pdf

    15. Thomas L. Friedman. “China to the Rescue? Not!” New York Times, December 21, 2008, p. 10.

    16. “A Few Good Machines,” The Economist, March 13, 2008.

    17. Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, New York: Basic Books, 2003.

    18. Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, New York: Basic Books, 1973; Jerald Hage and Charles H. Powers, Post-Industrial Lives: Roles and Relationships in the 21st Century, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992.

    19. George Ritzer and Craig Lair, “Outsourcing: Globalization and Beyond,” in George Ritzer (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Globalization, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007, pp. 307–329.

    20. Benjamin R. Barber, “The Economic Crisis Isn't All Bad; It's a Chance for Us and Obama to Reimagine How We Live Our Lives,” The Nation, January 28, 2009.

    21. Both Dollar General and Dollar Tree are among the 500 largest companies in the United States; see Rosenbloom, “Don't Ask. You Can Afford It.”

    22. T. R. Witcher, “The Good Times Stop Rolling: Vegas Meets the Recession,” Time, December 29, 2008; http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1868932,00.html

    23. Ashley Powers, “Recession Tests Las Vegas Bet on Luxury's Lure,” Seattle Times, December 28, 2008; http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2008560966_vegas26.html

    24. http://www.vegastodayandtomorrow.com/citycenter.htm

    25. Paul Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966.

    26. Monica Zurowski, “V Stands for Value in Las Vegas: Deals, Discounts Abound in Sin City,” Calgary Herald, March 2, 2009.

    27. Adding to its difficulties is the fact that in recent years, after flirting with being more family oriented, Las Vegas is returning (if it had ever changed) to its more sinful image and ways. The recent slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is a reflection of this regression.

    28. One of the attractions of cruises is their highly McDonaldized character, and predictability (e.g., of the cost) is a key aspect of McDonaldization. See George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society 5, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 2008.

    29. http://cannmoney.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=dead+stores+and+mall

    30. David Segal, “Our Love Affair With Malls Is on the Rocks,” New York Times, January 31, 2008, Business, p. 1ff.

    31. http://cnnmoney.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Credit+crisis%2C+spec

    32. Stephanie Rosenbloom, “Malls Test Experimental Waters to Fill Vacancies,” New York Times, April 5, 2009, p. A22.

    33. Rory Nugent, “Hope Floats,” The Atlantic, June 2009.

    34. Sean B. Gregory, “The Last Shopping Mall?” http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090309/us_time/08599188354600

    35. Ibid.

    36. Ibid.

    37. Andrew Martin, “Empty Tables Threaten Some Restaurant Chains,” New York Times, April 4, 2009.

    38. Rosalind Williams, Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth Century France, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1982/1991.

    39. Nelson D. Schwartz, “In Spain's Falling Prices, Early Fears of Deflation,” New York Times, April 21, 2009, pp. A1, A3.

    40. Rosenbloom, “Malls Test Experimental Waters to Fill Vacancies.”

    41. Terry Pristin, “Miami Monuments to Excess: Condo Colossus Becomes Symbol of a Building Boom Gone Bust,” New York Times, March 11, 2009, p. B7.

    42. Ibid.

    43. It is difficult to imagine huge spaces that can be built and run economically.

    44. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05mall.html

    45. See, for example, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, New York: William Morrow, 1980; Philip Kotler, “Prosumers: A New Type of Consumer?” Futurist 20 (1986): 24–29; Daniel Zwick, Samuel K. Bonsu, and Aron Darmody, “Putting Consumers to Work: ‘Co-Creation’ and New Marketing Govern-mentality.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (2008): 163–196; Ashlee Humphreys and Kent Grayson, “The Intersecting Roles of Consumer and Producer: A Critical Perspective on Co-Production, Co-Creation and Prosumption,” Sociology Compass 2 (2008): 963–980; Chunyan Xie, Richard P. Bagozzi, and Sigurd V. Troye, “Trying to Prosume: Toward a Theory of Consumers as Co-Creators of Value,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 36 (2008): 109–122; George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson, “Production, Consumption, Prosumption: The Nature of Capitalism in the Age of the Digital Prosumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture, forthcoming; George Ritzer, “Focusing on the Prosumer: On Correcting an Error in the History of Social Theory.” Keynote address presented at the Conference on Prosumption, Frankfurt, Germany, March 2009.

    About the Author

    George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was also awarded the 2000 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association, and in 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He is perhaps best known for The McDonaldization of Society (translated into over a dozen languages and now in its 5th edition) and several related books, including Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society and The Globalization of Nothing2 (2007). He edited The Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2005) and the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Sociology (2007), and he is the founding editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture.


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