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.

Globalization and Modern Consumer Culture

Globalization and modern consumer culture

Significant increases in the material standards of living of a substantial proportion of the world's population occurred in the course of the second half of the twentieth century. The perennial gale of ‘creative destruction’ Schumpeter (1975[1942]: 82) identified as a necessary feature of capitalist economic life continually brought into being new consumers, goods, methods of production, technologies, and forms of organization. The number of products and services produced and consumed around the world has continued to grow as more of the world's population has aspired to the materially acquisitive lifestyles that predominate in ‘overdeveloped’ and ‘over-consuming’ countries (Renner, 2004). Over the period in question worldwide consumer expenditure increased by a factor of six to US$24 trillion, ...

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