our Web site
Walking to our next interview in a neighborhood near the West Station in Guangzhou, we came into a dark, narrow passage between high-rise buildings that looked like public housing, where we could see four old people playing mahjongg. The apartments were linked by an apparent tangle of electric wires. The windows were all protected by wrought iron bars. Most of the balconies were decorated with flowers. Clothes were drying on long sticks outside the windows. Nothing very conspicuous at first glance. No exotic vision of China. Only the ordinary course of daily life could be seen.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the gears of capitalism grinding away in America today, you don't need to go to a factory or a business office.
Instead, observe a child and parent in a store. That high-pitched whining you'll hear coming from the cereal aisle is more than just the pleadings of a single kid bent on getting a box of Fruit Loops into the shopping cart. It is the sound of thousands of hours of market research, of an immense coordination of people, ideas and resources, of decades of social and economic change all rolled into a single, "Mommy, pleeease!"
Attention graduate students and untenured faculty:
The Berkeley Journal of Sociology (BJS) invites submissions of well-researched, theoretically interesting papers on issues relating to consumption for Volume 49, 2005. We are particularly interested in research that explores perspectives on consumption as a social experience and consumers as social actors.