In this book, one of the leading social theorists and cultural commentators of modern times, turns his gaze on consumption. George Ritzer, author of the famous McDonaldization Thesis, demonstrates the irrational consequences of the rational desire to consume and commodify. He examines how McDonaldization might be resisted, and situates the reader in the new cultural spaces that are emerging in society: shopping malls, casino hotels, Disneyfied theme parks and Las Vegas -- the new `cathedrals of consumption' as he calls them. The book shows how new processes of consumption relate to globalization theory. In illuminating discussions of the work of Thorstein Veblen and the French situationists, Ritzer unearths the roots of problems of consumption in older sociological traditions. He indicates how transgression is bound up with consumption, through an investigation of the obscene in popular and postmodern culture.            

Obscene from Any Angle: Fast Food, Credit Cards, Casinos and Consumers

Obscene from any angle: Fast food, credit cards, casinos and consumers

Over the past decade I have been thinking and writing about processes – McDonaldization, consumerism – and entities – fast-food restaurants, credit cards, and the new means of consumption – that can be seen as ‘obscene powers’. From a modern perspective, all can be viewed as part of increasing external (especially corporate) control over our lives, especially as consumers, and as posing threats to social justice, human rights, and democratic decision making. Of course, such a set of judgments implies that analysts are operating with an ‘Archimedean point’ that allows them to judge certain social phenomena ‘obscene’ in the sense that they are perceived ...

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