The Consumer Society Reader

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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.