Steven Miles Consumerism: As a Way of Life

ISBN 13: 9780761952152

Consumerism: As a Way of Life

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9780761952152: Consumerism: As a Way of Life

This book provides an introduction to the historical and theoretical foundations of consumerism. It then moves on to examine the experience of consumption in the areas of space and place, technology, fashion, `popular′ music and sport. Throughout, the author brings a critical perspective to bear upon the subject, thus providing a reliable and stimulating guide to a complex and many-sided field.

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About the Author:

Steve joined Brighton from the University of Liverpool where he was part of the management group of Impacts 08, the research programme designed to assess the social, cultural and economic impacts of European Capital of Culture. Perhaps the most bizarre experience of his academic career was presenting the proposal for Impacts 08 to a panel chaired by Loyd Grossman.

Steve previously worked at Northumbria University where he was Head of Research for the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management and where he conducted a large-scale research project into the impact of cultural investment on Newcastle Gateshead Quayside. Many years previously Steve undertook his PhD in the Behavioural Sciences Department at the University of Huddersfield in which he was concerned with the relationship between consumption and identity amongst young people.

Review:

`This book is useful because of its clear layout and accessible use of language. It provides a short history of consumerism, an overview of theoretical approaches and the argument that we live in a designer society. It then covers a series of case studies: spatial organization of city, consumption of technologies, fashion, popular music and sport′ - The Year′s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

`Miles′s study [is] an important contribution to our understanding of the contemporary human condition.... the value of the book is in its character of a well-informed and informative, not unduly partisan, comprehensive "state of the art" survey of topics and issues raised and discussed by the researchers and analysts of life in the society of consumers. Students and researchers alike will find it useful as a reference book and an excellent starting point for their own exploration. But "ordinary consumers" could gain as well from pursuing Miles′s study. They would learn a lot about the springs that set them in motion while staying themselves in hiding. Combining these two characteristics (and so two uses and two circles of readership) is what all sociological books strive to achieve, but not many do′ - Zygmunt Bauman

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