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 Futures I: Business as Usual

Consuming futures I: Business as usual

Writing at the end of the twentieth century Ulrich Beck observed that one consequence of ‘the neo-liberal free-market utopia’ was the transformation of paid work, ‘the spread of temporary and insecure employment’, and consequently the increasing precariousness of people's lives (2000: 1). In his discussion Beck directs attention to the employment implications of knowledge's growing role as the primary source of wealth generation, in particular the respects in which the deployment of information technology promotes the capacity to raise productivity without commensurate increases in paid employment, and he explores a number of the alternative scenarios proposed in response to the end of the ‘normal work society’, but finds the majority to be of limited ...

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