- Subject index
This long-awaited second edition of Economy/Society Markets, Meanings, and Social Structure continues to offer an accessible introduction to the way social arrangements affect economic activity, and shows that economic exchanges are deeply embedded in social relationships. Understanding how society shapes the economy helps us answer many important questions. For example, how does advertising get people to buy things? How do people use their social connections to get jobs? How did large bureaucratic organizations come to be so pervasive in modern economies—and what difference does it make? How can we explain the persistence of economic inequalities between men and women and across racial groups? Why do some countries become rich while others stay poor? This book presents sociological answers to questions like these, and encourages its readers to view the economy through a sociological lens.
Chapter 2: Marketing and the Meaning of Things
Marketing and the Meaning of Things
Choosing a new computer can be a momentous decision for a young adult. There are many options, of course, and a personal computer is a technologically sophisticated, relatively expensive commodity. Purchasers face a bewildering array of features to decide about, including cache speeds, RAM sizes, processor types, and graphics acceleration. For many young buyers, however, it really comes down to two major options: Mac or PC. The fact that most buyers lack technical expertise doesn't really matter, because this mostly isn't a technical decision. To own a computer is to make a personal statement, and the options matter because of what they mean.
It may seem strange to claim that a computer has meaning, but ...