Consumer Culture and Society offers an introduction to the study of consumerism and mass consumption from a sociological perspective. It examines what we buy, how and where we consume, the meanings attached to the things we purchase, and the social forces that enable and constrain consumer behavior. Opening chapters provide a theoretical overview and history of consumer society and featured case studies look at mass consumption in familiar contexts, such as tourism, food, and higher education. The book explores ethical and political concerns, including consumer activism, indebtedness, alternative forms of consumption, and dilemmas surrounding the globalization of consumer culture.

Conclusion: The Globalization of Mass Consumer Culture

Chapter 11 conclusion: The globalization of mass consumer culture

Although this book has focused primarily on the development and effects of mass consumption in the United States, it would be unfortunate not to provide some insight into how mass consumption has become a truly global phenomenon. According to Gabriel and Lang (2006:8–10), “contemporary consumerism is global in nature” and has become the “economic ideology of global development” since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Leslie Sklair (2002:62) situates mass consumerism within what he calls the cultural-ideology sphere of global capitalism that attempts “to persuade people to consume not simply to satisfy their biological and other modest needs but in response to artificially created desires in order to perpetuate ...

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