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 7: Ensnared in the E-Net: The Future Belongs to the Immaterial Means of Consumption
Ensnared in the E-Net: The Future Belongs to the Immaterial Means of Consumption
There was a time in the not-too-distant past that consumption was almost completely dominated by a series of material realities. Embodied consumers walked or took conveyances of one sort or another to one of a wide variety of ‘brick and mortar’ shops where they paid ‘flesh-and-blood’ cashiers hard cash in exchange for which they received one or more of the innumerable available commodities. Although there were many other possibilities, especially the consumption of immaterial services as opposed to material commodities, this was the norm. However, as in many other areas of the economy, consumption is in the midst of a ...