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1 Burnside American Studies- Popular Culture

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole

by

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A piercing and vital look at how capitalism is consuming U.S. society.

An apt sequel to Benjamin R. Barber's best-selling Jihad vs. McWorld, Consumed offers a wrenching portrait of how adult consumers are infantilized in a global economy that overproduces goods and targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers. Driven by a frantic imperative to sell, consumer capitalism specializes today in the manufacture not of goods but of needs.

This provocative culmination of Barber's lifelong study of democracy and capitalism shows how the infantilist ethos deprives society of responsible citizens and displaces public goods with private commodities. Traditional liberal democratic society is colonized by an all-pervasive market imperative. Public space is privatized. Identity is branded. Our world, homogenized. With brilliance and depth, Barber confronts the likely consequences for our children, our liberty, and our citizenship, and shows finally how citizens can resist and transcend the civic schizophrenia with which consumerism has infected them.

Review:

"Barber returns to the clashing models of civilization of his earlier Jihad vs. McWorld, focusing this time on the expanding global culture of market forces he claims will destory not only democracy but even capitalism, if left unchecked. He warns of a totalitarian 'ethos of induced childishness' that not only seeks to turn the young into aggressive consumers but to arrest the psychological development of adults as well, 'freeing' them to indulge in puerile and narcissistic purchases based on 'stupid' brand loyalties. The increasing drive toward privatization compounds the problem, generating a 'civic schizophrenia' where everybody wants service but nobody wants to serve. His complaint is so broad that it occasionally edges into crankiness, as he blames infantilization for ruining everything from Hollywood movies to NBA basketball; even other liberal cultural commentators, especially Steven Johnson (Everything Bad Is Good for You), come in for much criticism. Barber recognizes that the 'Jihadist' rejection of consumer culture is equally undemocratic, but still believes the system can be changed from within, citing the corporate responsibility movement and activist boycotts. His dense analysis can be a tough slog in spots, but the provocative attacks on capitalism's excesses will resonate with many." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Immediately after 9/11, President Bush addressed the nation. Here was a chance to bring a grieving people together — to articulate shared purposes and ask for shared sacrifice. Instead, all the president asked of us is that we keep doing what Americans do ... and shop. Not exactly Churchillian, but if Benjamin Barber is right, Bush was just tapping into the spirit of our times. In 'Consumed,' Barber... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Barber concludes with a call to temper capitalism...not just nationally, but globally. Perhaps his next book will explain how we might heed that urgent calling. Significant work." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"With the call to arms of grassroots resistance, he does offer a glimmer of hope; despite the heavy weight, Barber's work deserves and surely will find its audience." Booklist

Synopsis:

This provocative culmination of Barber's lifelong study of democracy and capitalism confronts the likely consequences of consumerism on our children, our liberty, and our citizenship, and shows finally how citizens can resist and transcend the culture of over-consumption.

About the Author

Benjamin R. Barber is Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and the Wilson H. Elkins Professor at The Maryland School of Public Affairs at University of Maryland. He is also the author of Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age (1984) and The Conquest of Politics (1988).

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393049619
Subtitle:
How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole
Author:
Barber, Benjamin R
Author:
Barber, Benjamin R.
Publisher:
Norton
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Consumer behavior
Subject:
Capitalism
Subject:
Economics - Macroeconomics
Subject:
Consumer Behavior - General
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070319
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Business » Marketing
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole Used Hardcover
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$11.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393049619 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Barber returns to the clashing models of civilization of his earlier Jihad vs. McWorld, focusing this time on the expanding global culture of market forces he claims will destory not only democracy but even capitalism, if left unchecked. He warns of a totalitarian 'ethos of induced childishness' that not only seeks to turn the young into aggressive consumers but to arrest the psychological development of adults as well, 'freeing' them to indulge in puerile and narcissistic purchases based on 'stupid' brand loyalties. The increasing drive toward privatization compounds the problem, generating a 'civic schizophrenia' where everybody wants service but nobody wants to serve. His complaint is so broad that it occasionally edges into crankiness, as he blames infantilization for ruining everything from Hollywood movies to NBA basketball; even other liberal cultural commentators, especially Steven Johnson (Everything Bad Is Good for You), come in for much criticism. Barber recognizes that the 'Jihadist' rejection of consumer culture is equally undemocratic, but still believes the system can be changed from within, citing the corporate responsibility movement and activist boycotts. His dense analysis can be a tough slog in spots, but the provocative attacks on capitalism's excesses will resonate with many." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Barber concludes with a call to temper capitalism...not just nationally, but globally. Perhaps his next book will explain how we might heed that urgent calling. Significant work."
"Review" by , "With the call to arms of grassroots resistance, he does offer a glimmer of hope; despite the heavy weight, Barber's work deserves and surely will find its audience."
"Synopsis" by , This provocative culmination of Barber's lifelong study of democracy and capitalism confronts the likely consequences of consumerism on our children, our liberty, and our citizenship, and shows finally how citizens can resist and transcend the culture of over-consumption.
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