• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The Unmanageable Consumer examines the key Western traditions of thinking about and being a consumer. Each chapter posits a consumer model with examples from the international community. Readers are invited to enter an exciting and radical analysis of contemporary consumerism which suggests that consumerism is fragile and consumers unpredictable.

The Consumer as Victim
The consumer as victim

[C]onsumers are being manipulated, defrauded, and injured not just by marginal businesses or fly-by-night hucksters but by the US blue-chip business firms …

RalphNader (1968)
Core Arguments

Victimhood is the flipside of consumer sovereignty. Even when most free, consumers are open to being defrauded, manipulated and shortchanged. Victimhood, whether conscious or unconscious, has played a central role in Western debates about modern consumption. Even the strongest proponents of consumer choice recognize the potential for consumers to be exploited. However, there are splits between those who argue that the law is needed to protect consumers from abuse and those who see the market as being able to provide its own correction. For the former group, the notion of fairness and use of ...

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