The Consumer Trap: Big Business Marketing in American Life (History of Communication)

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9780252072642: The Consumer Trap: Big Business Marketing in American Life (History of Communication)

The Consumer Trap blows the lid off the trillion-dollar-a-year big business marketing industry, explaining how it soaks up economic and environmental resources while dominating our personal lives. Flouting conventional mainstream and radical thinking about consumer culture, Michael Dawson provides a step-by-step account of how big business marketing campaigns penetrate and alter the lives of ordinary Americans. Michael Dawson is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Portland State University. A volume in the series The History of Communication, edited by Robert W. McChesney and John C. Nerone

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"Michael Dawson's meticulous and illuminating research into marketing theory and practice lays bare some of the most important developments of the 20th century: the ways in which the sophisticated and self-conscious 'class coercion' designed by and for business leaders passed beyond meticulous management of the workplace to 'manipulating people's off-the-job perceptions and actions.' Dawson exposes the mythology of 'consumer sovereignty' and 'free markets,' and sketches a humane alternative to domination by 'corporate overlords' and the state power to which they are closely linked." Noam Chomsky "This well-documented study is fascinating reading. Highly recommended." Choice "Big Brother is alive and well and working for Madison Avenue. Michael Dawson tells us what the media won't, how Big Business brainwashes citizens into consumers and undermines democracy. Everyone who fears the Thought Police should read this brilliant expose." John Stauber, coauthor, Toxic Sludge Is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies, and the Public Relations Industry "This groundbreaking book is indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the history and nature of the marketing colossus that bestrides our narrow world. Picking up where Thorstein Veblen left off, Michael Dawson offers up a powerful analysis of corporate sales as a continuation of class warfare. With heroic clarity and force--and on the basis of a great deal of remarkable research--he tells us how and why it is that marketing serves not our pleasure or our happiness, but only the demands of business." Mark Crispin Miller, author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV and The Bush Dyslexicon

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