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: "We live in what may be the most consumer-oriented society in history. . . .Once a purely utilitarian chore, shopping has been elevated to the status of a national passion."--Juliet B. Schor, The Overworked American
. A unique and definitive reader on our "national passion"--buying stuff--and its consequences for American society. We are citizens, owners and workers, believers and heathens, but today more than anything else we are consumers. How this came to be and its consequences for us all is the subject of this pioneering reader on the rise--and continued rise--of consumerism. The Consumer Society Reader
features a range of key works on the nature and evolution of consumer society. It includes classics such as the Frankfurt School writers Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse on the Culture Industry; Thorstein Veblen's oft-cited writings on "conspicuous consumption"; Betty Friedan on the housewife's central role in consumer society; and John Kenneth Galbraith's influential analysis of the "affluent society." The book also includes much-discussed recent work by such leading critics as Pierre Bourdieu, Thomas Frank, bell hooks, Bill McKibben, and Janice Radway. A landmark in social criticism, The Consumer Society Reader
is sure to become the standard book on the subject.