‘The Unmanageable Consumer has long been one of my favorite books in the sociology of consumption. This long overdue third edition has updated and revised the basic argument in many ways. Most importantly, it now offers a new chapter on the consumer as worker or, more generally, the prosumer. Assign it to your classes (I have…and will again) and read it for your edification.’ - George Ritzer, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, USA ‘This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding one of the most complex and multifaceted concepts of our time: the idea of the consumer. I cannot recommend it highly enough.’ - Mark Tadajewski, Professor of Marketing, Durham University Business School, UK Western-style consumerism is often presented as unstoppable, yet its costs mount and its grip on consumer reality weakens. In this completely rewritten 20th Anniversary edition, Gabriel and Lang restate their thesis that consumerism is more fragile and unmanageable than is assumed by its proponents. Consumerism has been both stretched and undermined by globalization, the internet, social media and other cultural changes. Major environmental threats, debt, squeezed incomes and social inequalities now temper Western consumers' appetite for spending. The 20th century Deal, first championed by Henry Ford, of more consumption from higher waged work looks tattered. This edition of The Unmanageable Consumer continues to explore 10 different consumer models, and encourages analysis of contemporary consumerism. It looks at the spread of consumerism to developing countries like India and China and considers the effects of demographic changes and migration, and points to new features such as consumers taking on unwaged work. This new edition also touches on contemporary topics including the consumption movement on social media, the occupy movement, and the horsemeat scandal.
The Consumer As Victim
The Consumer As Victim
[C]onsumers are being manipulated, defrauded, and injured not just by marginal businesses or fly-by-night hucksters but by the US blue-chip business firms … (Ralph Nader, 1968)
The idea that consumers are victims no longer enjoys quite the popularity it once did. The ...