By Barry Smart
Has buyer tradition obtained out of hand? Are the prices of common entry and toxins too nice to bear?This entire, vigorous and informative ebook will quick be famous as a benchmark within the box. It brings jointly a massive set of assets for brooding about customer tradition and analyzing its origins and results inside a world context. Adept in dealing with a posh diversity of theories, buyer Society scrupulously makes use of examples all through to notify and increase figuring out. shrewdpermanent writes with verve and feeling and has produced a booklet that concurrently covers and enlarges our realizing of purchaser tradition. transparent, enticing and unique, this ebook might be vital studying for all these attracted to our worldwide tradition of intake together with scholars of sociology, social geography and cultural stories.
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Extra info for Consumer Society: Critical Issues & Environmental Consequences
However, in economic life, and arguably political life too, it is increasingly a global ‘moneyed oligarchy’ that in practice exerts most influence, contrary to the idea promoted through constitutional theory that ‘the people exercise sovereign power’ (Baran and Sweezy, 1970: 159). Recognition that oligopoly, the prominence of a few firms or commercial organizations exercising influence over prices, was an increasingly common if not ‘normal form of market organization’, did lead to a minor modification of the neo-classical model, but not to any significant amendment of understandings of the structure, motivation, or operation of the business firm, or for that matter to any reconsideration of the ‘sovereign’ role attributed to the consumer.
With the seemingly limitless extension of the commodity form more and more areas of people’s lives have become subject, either directly or indirectly, to the logic of the market, to the enticements of an associated culture of consumption and, as a corollary, to the necessity of choosing, of exercising consumer choice. ). In short, the experience of people living, for the most part, in late modern, wealthy, cosmopolitan societies, those socially engaged primarily as consumers, is to a significant degree predicated on the largely enforced engagement of men, women, and indeed a good many children, as low-paid producers in the less wealthy countries that still account for the majority of the world’s population, one example being Bangladesh where garment workers making clothes for popular retail stores in the UK were found to be working for 5p an hour and doing 80-hour weeks (War on Want, 2006a, 2007).
It is also argued that this shift of emphasis is reflected in the ways in which individual identity and satisfaction now appear to be less and less bound up with job, work, and career and more and more with lifestyle, consumption, and shopping (Sennett, 2001). The passage from producer to consumer society is considered to be marked by a diminution of the significance of the work ethic and a 39 40 C o n su m e r S oc ie t y corresponding valorization of consumption. It is consumer spending rather than waged work that is now considered a ‘duty’, the ‘spendinghappy consumer’ (Bauman, 1992: 50), rather than the disciplined worker for whom work or labor constituted a calling, who is now a necessity, whose ‘confidence’ to spend is deemed so vital to economic wellbeing.