9, No. 1, November 2007
Books of Note
Barber, Benjamin. Consumed. Norton.
A jeremiad against the culture of consumption which, it is argued,
infantilizes adults and corrupts children.
Best, Amy. Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating
World of Youth and Their Cars.
New York University Press, 2006.
An ethnographic excision into the world of cars, identity and
status in San Jose, California.
Best, Joel, Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People
Fall for Fads.
University of California Press, 2006.
The power of fads are shown to be tied to eager Americans who
value of improvement and progress and who are quick to find solutions
to pressing problems.
Binkley, Sam. Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption
in the 1970s.
Duke University Press. 2007.
Through a sociological analysis of the countercultural print
culture of the 1970s, Getting Loose investigates the
dissemination of self-loosening narratives and their widespread
appeal to America’s middle class — a process which originated
as an emancipatory call to loosen up, but soon evolved into a
culture of highly commercialized consumption and lifestyle branding.
Blank, Grant. Critics, Ratings, and Society: The Sociology
Rowman & Littlefield. 2007.
This book investigates reviews as a form of cultural evaluations:
institutions that influence success and failure, make or break
reputations and careers, and often play a critical role in stratification,
power, and status.
Gregson, Nicky. Living with things: Ridding, Accommodation,
Wantage: Sean Kingston Publishing. 2007.
As goods are intertwined with e patterns and relationships of
everyday life, we must attend to and acknowledge that disposing
of them is as every a social process as acquiring them.
Illouz, Eva. Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional
Capitalism. Polity Press, 2007.
Outlines a dual process whereby the culture of capitalism has
fostered a deeply emotional culture while close, intimate relationships
increasingly have become figured in terms of models of bargaining,
exchange and equity.
Manlow, Veronica. Designing Clothes: Culture
and Organization of the Fashion Industry. Transaction,
This book considers the importance of fashion in society, traces
the evolution of the industry and the emergence of the fashion
designer and looks at issues of importance within fashion firms:
the creative process, organizational culture, leadership and
building and marketing the identity of the brand.
Maguire, Jennifer Smith. Fit for Consumption: Sociology and
the Business of Fitness.
Combining observations in health clubs, interviews with fitness
producers and consumers, and a textual analysis of a wide variety
of fitness media, the book provides an empirically-grounded examination
of how individuals are encouraged to fit into consumer culture
and the service economy—that is, how bodies and selves
become “fit for consumption.”
Sassatelli, Roberta Consumer Culture: History, Theory,
Politics. Sage Publications. 2007
This book guides the reader on a comprehensive journey through the history of
how we have come to understand ourselves as consumers in a consumer society and
reveals the profound ambiguities and ambivalences inherent within.
Spierings, Bas. Cities, Consumption and
Competition: The Image of Consumerism and the Making of City
Centres. Radboud University Nijmegen. 2006.
This publication examines the influence of 'shopping flânerie'
as image of contemporary consumerism on city centre governance
in the Netherlands, showing how large-scale redevelopment
projects are designed to make city centres dissimilar to surrounding
shopping centres at urban and regional levels, in an attempt
to compete for mobile and fun-seeking shoppers.
>>> back to Consumers,
Comodities & Consumption, Vol. 9(1) November 2007.