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.

Consumer Choice: Rhetoric and Reality

Consumer choice: Rhetoric and reality

The figure of the consumer occupies a prominent place in contemporary social life, economic analysis, and political rhetoric. Within economic analysis consumption has long been presented as the end or point of production and the interest of the consumer promoted as taking precedence over that of the producer (Smith, 1976[1776]). As J.K. Galbraith noted, within ‘virtually all economic analysis and instruction, the initiative is assumed to lie with the consumer’ (1969: 216). The growth in productive capacity that accompanied the development of industrial capitalist economies in the late nineteenth century and through the twentieth century led to understandable concern being expressed about the need to generate effective consumer demand for the rapidly increasing range and volume ...

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