Social Theory in the Real World is concerned with illustrating the practical benefits of social theory. Many students find it hard to relate the real insights provided by social theory to their real life experiences, and many lecturers struggle to demonstrate the relevance of social theory to everyday life. This book offers an accessible, non-patronizing solution to the problem, demonstrating that social theory need not be remote and obscure, but if used in imaginative ways, it can be indispensable in challenging our common sense perceptions and understandings. The book identifies the key themes of contemporary social theory: mass society, postindustrialism, consumerism, postmodernism, McDonaldization, risk and globa

A Mcdonaldized Society?

A mcdonaldized society?

Regardless of whether we, as social theorists, choose to describe the world in which we live as ‘modern’, ‘late modern’ or ‘post-modern’, one thing is certain: social change is such that manifestations of consumerism are increasingly fundamental to the construction of our everyday lives. As I argued in Chapter 4, we appear to live in what is first and foremost a consumer society. It is all well and good to acknowledge this fact, but how can and do social theorists adapt such a proposition to the realities of everyday life? It is certainly tempting to assume that consumerism is omnipresent and that human beings simply consume what they are offered by the market; that, in effect, consumption provides a template ...

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