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Culture-ideology of consumerism

Sklair, Leslie (2012) Culture-ideology of consumerism. In: Ritzer, George, (ed.) The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK; Malden MA, USA. ISBN 9781405188241

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Identification Number: 10.1002/9780470670590.wbeog099


The culture-ideology of consumerism refers to the transformation of excessively above-subsistence consumption from a sectional practice of the rich throughout human history to a globalizing phenomenon directed at the mass of the population. Its emergence can be explained in terms of two central factors, factors that are historically unprecedented. First, capitalism entered a qualitatively new globalizing phase in the 1950s. As the electronic revolution got underway, significant changes began to occur in the productivity of capitalist factories, systems of extraction and processing of raw materials, product design, marketing and distribution of goods and services. This golden age of capitalism, driven largely by new types of globally integrated transnational corporations and organized politically by an embryonic transnational capitalist class, took root in the United States, but soon spread to Japan, Western Europe and other parts of the developed world, to the newly industrializing countries and to some cities and enclaves in the developing world. Second, the technical and social relations that structured the mass media all over the world made it very easy for new consumerist lifestyles to become the dominant motif for these media, which became in time extraordinarily efficient vehicles for the broadcasting of the culture-ideology of consumerism globally (Sklair 2002).

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Divisions: Sociology
LSE Human Rights
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2013 10:55
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2024 23:14

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