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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 can't 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.
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.
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