Vol. 5, No. 1, December 2003

Books of Note

Stephen Brown and John F. Sherry Jr. (eds). Time, Space, and the Market: Retroscapes Rising, M. E. Sharpe (London), 2003.
The text uses vivid personal narratives to immerse readers in the mind- and time-altering world of retrospaces — environments that evoke remembrances (albeit false) of times past.

Martha Gever. Entertaining Lesbians: Celebrity, Sexuality, and Self-Invention, Routledge, 2003.
An analysis of key moments in lesbian cultural history — e.g., Hollywood in the 1920s and '30s, the gay and women't liberation movements in the late 1960s and early '70s, professional sports in the 1980s — as elements of a critique of contemporary lesbian visibility politics and celebrity.

 David Grazian, Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs, University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Ethnographic exploration of the ways inwhich professional and amateur musicians, club owners, and city boosters define authenticity and dish it out to tourists and bar regulars.

Tim Kasser and Allen Kanner (eds.). Psychology and Consumer Culture : The Struggle for a Good Life in a Materialistic World. American Psychological Association, 2003.   
An in-depth psychological analysis of consumerism that draws from a wide range of theoretical, clinical, and methodological approaches which demonstrate that consumerism and the culture that surrounds it exert profound and often undesirable effects on both people's individual lives and on society as a whole.  

Joe Kincheloe. The Sign of the Burger: McDonald’s and the Cuture of Power, Temple University Press, 2002.
A critical analysis of how McDonald’s has served as s symbol of American strength as well as a bellwether for the condition of labor in a globalized econony.

 Cele C. Otnes and Elizabeth H. Pleck. Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding. University of California Press, 2003.
Examines the reasons for the explosive growth of the wedding as a  consumption-oriented rite in the U.S. and abroad, examining the historical and social forces that have led to its increasingly elaborate nature, and also examines aspects of the wedding such as engagement, the ceremony, and the honeymoon.

Cele C. Otnes and Tina M. Lowrey (eds.). Contemporary Consumption Rituals: A Research Anthology, Erlbaum Press, 2003.
A compendium of new research on consumption within the context of rituals ranging from the entrenched (Christmas) to the new (Burning Man), and examines aspects of ritualistic consumption such as socialization, growth and demise of rituals, and the impact of rituals on consumers' lives.

 Karen Sternheimer. It's Not the Media: The Truth About Pop Culture's Influence on Children, Westview Press, 2003.
Critically examines the fears surrounding children's media use, including concerns about children, advertising and consumption..