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Consumer Society

Consumer Society
Critical Issues & Environmental Consequences

March 2010 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Has consumer culture got out of hand? Are the costs of universal access and pollution too great to bear?

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 consumer culture and examining its origins and consequences within a global context.

Adept in handling a complex range of theories, Consumer Society scrupulously uses examples throughout to inform and enhance understanding. Smart writes with verve and feeling and has produced a book that simultaneously covers and enlarges our understanding of consumer culture.

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

Consuming: Historical and Conceptual Issues
Consumer Choice: Rhetoric and Reality
Cultivating Consumers: Advertising, Marketing and Branding
Designing Obsolescence, Promoting Consumer Demand
Globalization and Modern Consumer Culture
Consequences of Consumerism
An Unsustainable All-Consuming World
Consuming Futures I: Business as Usual
Consuming Futures II: 'Green' and Sustainable Alternatives

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

Very good resource for beginners and advanced students alike. Definitely an essential resource for my future courses in this field of studies.

Dr Meik Nowak
IEE, Ruhr-University Bochum
April 19, 2021

This is an excellent book and useful supplementary resource, and may be ordered in Fall 2016 as such, but a geography text on consumption is preferable. So I am waiting on the Mansvelt and Jayne text. The 2005 Mansvelt text was not quite suitable for Fall 2014.

Dr Kimberley B Naqvi
Geography, Thompson Rivers Univ
September 15, 2015

Great text to compliment diverse reading list. Unique perspective with good theoretical underpinning. Accessible for students and pitched at the right level. Good text.

Mr David Cockayne
Dept of Transport and Logistics, Huddersfield University
March 27, 2014

Excellent resource for understanding consumer society. However has little in terms of focus to the health and social care discipline. I have recommended this for dissertation students that wish to discuss elements of consumer society.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
December 3, 2013

Stimulating and informative.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
October 23, 2013

A well ordered, clearly written and accessible text that will give my undergraduate students a good introduction to the relationship between consumption norms and environmental stress, and the socio-economic impact of a global market place.

Ms Anna Hawkins
Urban Studies , Sheffield Hallam University
October 1, 2013

I really liked this book. It covers some interesting aspects related to consumption, advertising, and markets, but it was more about environmental issues and less about issues of inequality, which made it a poor fit for my course on social stratification.

Professor Michelle Maroto
Sociology, Univ of Alberta
September 27, 2013

Broad ranging and insightful. Clearly presented with a wide range of comparative material.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
February 22, 2013

An excellent and interesting book but not directly relevant to the programme that we run. However, I would recommend it to those students who choose to focus on the environmental/sustainability issues within outdoor education.

Mr Graham Harvey
School of sport, health and outdoor education, University of Wales, Trinity St David
January 9, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Barry Smart

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

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ISBN: 9781847870506

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