Sonic branding, guerrilla marketing, celebrity endorsements, customer service excellence and multi-channel advertising are just some of the popular sales techniques that currently promote consumerism in contemporary capitalism. Considerable energy is devoted to encouraging consumers to desire new fashions, to celebrate 'good design', to have feelings for brands and to immerse themselves in sensory experiences, without worrying about the ethics of their practices.
Work, Consumption and Capitalism looks at how consumption is produced by focusing on the multiple kinds of work that make consumption possible, from advertising creatives to fashion designers, from self-service checkouts to the hippest barista in the coolest coffee shop. The text encourages students to consider the place of consumerism in global capitalism to develop their own answers to the question: How is consumption made possible?
This wide-ranging study of the relations between work, consumption and capitalism draws on interdisciplinary research in cultural and economic sociology, history, marketing studies and cultural studies. With research tasks and discussion questions at the end of each chapter and case studies throughout, it stands as an accessible introduction for students of Sociology, Business and Management, Media and Communication, Cultural Policy and Cultural Studies.
Listen to a podcast about the book.
Lynne Pettinger is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research explores how market cultures are generated, and how ethics, aesthetics and emotions are worked on in global consumer capitalism. She has developed these themes in projects on sales work, sex work and music work, and is currently studying green collar work, and HE's role in the production of 'employable' workers for the global culture industries.
1. Introduction.- 2. Global Capitalism.- 3. Consumption.- 4. Work.- 5. Doing Work.- 6. Emotion.- 7. Aesthetics.- 8. Ethics.- 9. Taking Seriously the Production of Consumption.