The Consumer Society Reader is the most substantial collection to date on contemporary and classic literature on consumption and consumer society. It introduces students and researchers to the topics, themes, and preoccupations of twentieth-century consumer culture. Part I introduces some of the important theoretical and conceptual material through which we have come to appreciate the dominant themes of our consumer society. Contributions from a range of thinkers - Pierre Bourdieu, Dick Hebdige, and Michel de Certeau, among others - give special attention to the nature of human needs, their satisfaction, and the broad implications of the provision of social and material goods by a capitalist means of production. Part II chronicles the evolution of the modern consumer society from its inception to the present day. Contemporary and popular writers, including John Kenneth Galbraith, Vance Packard, and Jean Baudrillard chart the dynamism of consumer society: its many changing social, cultural, economic, and political turns over time: and the spirited responses it has provoked from critics.
Martyn J. Lee is Senior Lecturer at Coventry University and teaches communication, culture, and media. He has been actively engaged in research around a variety of aspects concerning consumer society and consumption for a number of years. His publications include Consumer Culture Reborn (1993) and The Rise and Fall of Fordist Modernity (forthcoming).
Preface. Introduction. Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations. 1. Estranged Labour (Karl Marx) 2. The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret (Karl Marx) 3.Beyond Use Value (Jean Baudrillard) 4. Conspicuous Consumption (Thorstein Veblen) 5. The Puzzle of Modern Consumerism (Colin Campbell) 6. The Uses of Goods (Mary Douglas and Baron Isherwood) 7. Introduction to Distinction (Pierre Bourdieu) 8. Lifestyle and Consumer Culture (Mike Featherstone) 9. Object Domains, Ideology and Interests (Daniel Miller) 10. Object as Image: the Italian Scooter Cycle (Dick Hebdige) 11. "Making Do": Uses and Tactics (Michel de Certeau) Part II: The Character of the Consumer Society. 12. Looking Backwards (Don Slater) 13. Assembling a New World of Facts (Stuart Ewen) 14. Was There Love on the Dole (Gary Cross) 15. A Child's Cartography (Sharon Zukin) 16. The Dependence Effect (John Kenneth Galbraith) 17. Vance Packard: "Growthmanship" (Vance Packard) 18. Textiles: The Fabric of Life (Ernest Dichter) 19. A New Language (Jean Baudrillard) 20. Aesthetic Abstraction of the Commodity: Surface-Package-Advertising Image (Wolfgang Fritz Haug) 21. The Bonding of Media and Advertising (William Leiss, Stephen Kline, and Sut Jhally) 22. The Characteristic Mode of Consumption of Fordism (Michel Aglietta) 23. Theorizing the Transition (David Harvey) 24. The Politics of Consumption (Frank Mort) 25. The Commodities of Culture (John Fiske) 26. Dupes and Guerillas: The Dialectics of Cultural Consumption (John Clarke) 27. Sovereign Consumption (Jim McGuigan) 28. The Promotional Condition of Contemporary Culture (Andrew Wernick) Name Index. Subject Index.