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.            

Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society

Expressing america: A critique of the global credit card society

A Window on Society

The credit card, as well as the industry that stands behind it and aggressively pushes its growth and expansion, is not only important in itself, but also as a window on modern society. The idea of analyzing the credit card in order to understand society is derived from the theories of … Georg Simmel. Among his innumerable insights was the view that ‘any item of culture can be the starting point for sociological research into the nature of the totality’ (Turner, 1986). Simmel was a ‘relationist’, meaning that he saw each aspect of society as related to every other aspect (Ritzer and Gindoff, ...

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