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Consumer society - Barry Smart

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Consumer society - critical issues and environmental consequences
Barry Smart
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

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What factors are contributing to the continuing growth in consumption of goods and services? At what point do the costs associated with consumerism begin to call our way of life into question? How are the problems of resource depletion, waste and pollution, and environmental impact being addressed? What is to be done about the consequences of our all-consuming way of life?

Ever-increasing consumption and a relentless pursuit of growth in output are the twin pillars on which the modern economy and contemporary social life rest. But the consumer way of life is globally unsustainable. We cant all live the consumer dream.

This comprehensive, lively and informative book will quickly be recognized as a benchmark in the field. It brings together a huge set of resources for thinking about the development of consumer culture, its defining features, and global consequences.

Adept in handling a complex range of classical and contemporary theoretical sources, the book draws on an impressive range of comparative material and provides a variety of contemporary examples to inform and enhance understanding of our consuming way of life. Smart writes with verve and feeling and has produced a stimulating book that enlarges our understanding of consumer culture and provides a timely critical analysis of its consequences.

Clear, engaging, and original this book will be essential reading for all those interested in and concerned about our global culture of consumption including researchers and students in sociology, politics, cultural studies, economics, and social geography.

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Barry Smart is Professor of Sociology at the University of Portsmouth andhas longstanding research interests in the fields of social theory, political economy, and philosophy. Hisresearch interests include critical social research ethics; higher education; and collaborative work on veganism, ethics, lifestyle and environment.

The cultural contradictions of modern capitalism have never been deeper or more dramatic. These contradictions are also confusing. While governments tell citizens to spend in order to save capitalism, economists tell us that western consumers spend too much and Chinese workers, too little. Barry Smart's engaging contribution offers clear insights into the economic mysteries of modern consumption and production, providing in tandem an historical sociology of the rise of America as a consumer society - this is a timely sociological guide to the perplexed
Bryan S. Turner
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Barry Smart's Consumer society is the best study I have seen of contemporary features of the current stage of capitalism organized around consumption and commodities. The book's range is broad and synoptic and its research is highly impressive. The text is engaging and accessible and should be of interest to a wide range of readers
Douglas Kellner
UCLA, author of Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy

Keyword Index
Consumption (Economics) - Social aspects.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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