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.
Chapter 1: Writing to be Read
Writing to be Read
Why, as Herbert Gans (1997a) has recently demonstrated, do books written by American sociologists sell so poorly, especially to a larger American audience? Why do sociologists have such a meager audience for their work in other disciplines? Why, on the rare occasions when their books do receive general notice, do they review so poorly?
Some Contributing Characteristics of Sociology in the United States
The nature of sociology as it is currently defined in the United States (and, as we will see, it is defined differently in other societies) militates against publishing works of great interest outside of sociology.1 To begin with, the specialization that increasingly characterizes the field makes it less likely that a sociologist will be able to present ...