Explorations in the Sociology of Consumption: Fast Food, Credit Cards and Casinos

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SAGE, Apr 11, 2001 - Social Science - 272 pages
In this book, one of the leading social theorists and cultural commentators of modern times, turns his gaze on consumption. George Ritzer, author of the famous McDonaldization Thesis, demonstrates the irrational consequences of the rational desire to consume and commodify. He examines how McDonaldization might be resisted, and situates the reader in the new cultural spaces that are emerging in society: shopping malls, casino hotels, Disneyfied theme parks and Las Vegas, the new `cathedrals of consumption′ as he calls them. The book shows how new processes of consumption relate to globalization theory. In illuminating discussions of the work of Thorstein Veblen and the French situationists, Ritzer unearths the roots of problems of consumption in older sociological traditions. He indicates how transgression is bound up with consumption, through an investigation of the obscene in popular and postmodern culture.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 Writing to be Read
11
Chapter 2 The Irrationality of Rationality
23
Chapter 3 Some Thoughts on the Future of McDonaldization
46
Nor are its settings consumer or the consumption of its goods and services
58
A critique of the global credit card society
71
Chapter 6 Enchanting a disenchanted
108
The future belongs to the immaterial means of consumption
145
Lessons from the exportation of McDonaldization and the new means of consumption
160
Chapter 9 The new means of consumption and the situationist perspective
181
Chapter 10 Thorstein Veblen in the age of hyperconsumption
203
Fast food credit cards casinos and consumers
222
References
236
Index
248
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About the author (2001)

George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was awarded the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association, an honorary doctorate from LaTrobe University in Australia, and the Robin Williams Lectureship from the Eastern Sociological Society. His best-known work, The McDonaldization of Society (8th ed.), has been read by hundreds of thousands of students over two decades and translated into over a dozen languages. Ritzer is also the editor of McDonaldization: The Reader; and author of other works of critical sociology related to the McDonaldization thesis, including Enchanting a Disenchanted World, The Globalization of Nothing, Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society, as well as a series best-selling social theory textbooks and Globalization: A Basic Text. He is the Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2 vols.), the Encyclopedia of Sociology (11 vols.; 2nd edition forthcoming), the Encyclopedia of Globalization (5 vols.), and is Founding Editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture. In 2016 he will publish the second edition of Essentials of Sociology with SAGE.

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