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Consumer Society

Consumer Society
Critical Issues & Environmental Consequences

March 2010 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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.

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

It is a bit too enumerative in its approach, which makes it good for use in excerpts but less so as a whole book. The branding approaches are lacking in insight perspectives or acknowledgement of newer (critical and theoretical) discussions.

Dr Matthias Bode
Department of Marketing & Management, University of Southern Denmark
May 16, 2011

Insightful and well argued text, suitable for level.

Mr Nick Sage
School of Social Studies, Northampton University
September 14, 2010

An excellent and timely addition to the literature on contemporary culture from an author who always hits the mark.

Mrs Alison Cain
Department of Life Sciences, University of Hertfordshire
May 7, 2010

An excellent introductory text, comprehensive and clearly written, in my estimation certainly the best on the market at the moment.

Professor Steve Hall
Social Science , Northumbria University
April 4, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

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ISBN: 9781847870506
ISBN: 9781847870490

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