Consumer Culture: A Reference Handbook available in Hardcover
The phrase "shop till you drop" has become as American as apple pie and the trend does not appear to be slowing. Consumer Culture begins with the history of the consumer culture, which reveals that our fascination with consuming shows not only the hidden significance of everyday items, such as sugar and fashionable clothing, but also reveals the uniqueness of our way of life.
Consumer Culture also presents the views of economists and sociologists who see consumption as an expression of freedom. The book covers the social impact of consumption, examining such dubious milestones as physical attacks upon McDonald's and Starbucks, and best sellers that are critical of consumption. There is coverage of important research, such as whether consumers are making rational or impulsive choices and the effect of advertising on children.
- Capsule biographies of key individuals, such as Aaron Montgomery Ward, who pioneered the modern catalog, and Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's; important figures in advertising, such as Helen Rosen Woodward; leaders in the consumer protection movement, such as Ralph Nader and Florence Kelley; and more
- Statistics on U.S. and global consumption trends including clustering and segmentation in patterns of consumption; the growth of franchises and malls; shopping behavior by age, ethnicity, and geographical location; and environmental effects such as those due to garbage production
About the Author
Mirelle Cohen, PhD, is assistant professor of comparative sociology at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.