This book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the roots, current debates and future development of social theory. It draws together a team of outstanding international scholars, and presents an authoritative and panoramic critical survey of the field. The volume is divided into three parts. The first part examines the classical tradition. Included here are critical discussions of Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Freud, Mannheim and classical feminist thought. This part conveys the classical tradition as a living resource in social theory, it demonstrates not only the critical significance of classical writings, but their continuing relevance. The second part moves on t

Theories of Consumption

Theories of consumption

No serious theory of contemporary society can ignore the importance of consumption. For proof of its significance, we need look no further than the Internet, which has become emblematic of modern society. Although the Internet was originally developed for the scientific/military/industrial complex, its role in production has been eclipsed by its role in consumption. It has been estimated that consumers spent $38–$40 billion on the Internet in 1999 and companies devoted to consumption are the darlings of high-tech investors (Ivey, 1999). The boom in computer-and Internet-related industries played a key role in the unprecedented boom in the American economy and stock market (and those of many other developed nations), which enjoyed breathtaking gains in 1999. This, in turn, fueled a ...

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