Has consumer culture got out of hand? Are the costs of universal access and pollution too great to bear?This comprehensive, lively and informative book will quickly be recognized as a benchmark in the field. It brings together a huge set of resources for thinking about consumer culture and examining its origins and consequences within a global context. Adept in handling a complex range of theories, Consumer Society scrupulously uses examples throughout to inform and enhance understanding. Smart writes with verve and feeling and has produced a book that simultaneously covers and enlarges our understanding of consumer culture. Clear, engaging and original, this book will be important reading for all those interested in our global culture of consumption including students of sociology, social geography and cultural studies.

Consuming: Historical and Conceptual Issues

Consuming: Historical and conceptual issues

The twentieth century has been termed ‘The American Century’ (Luce, 1941; Evans, 1998). This designation seems especially appropriate in respect of contemporary consumer culture and associated consumer lifestyles, for as the twentieth century developed the global reach and influence of American consumerism increased markedly. With the growth of American economic and cultural influence, particularly in the latter half of the century, American consumer brands, culture, and lifestyles increasingly were being exported to and adopted by the rest of the world, albeit inflected in various ways by local customs and practices (Ritzer, 2005; Brewer and Trentmann, 2006). American corporations, consumer goods, cultural forms, and styles exerted an increasing influence over people's lives and corporate brands, commodities, and ...

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