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The Inscrutable Shopper by Stella Minahan

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Chapter 1

A Brief History of the Consumer Society

This chapter provides some background to the significant shifts in world economies and the resultant impacts on society that have occurred over recent centuries—in particular the shift in focus from that of a production society to a pervasive consumption society, which resulted from the Industrial Revolution. In this chapter, we aim to provide background to the forces that led to the creation of the consumer society and how that changed the social fabric and community life. Here, we address three overarching issues in relation to the evolution of consumer society: the individual and consumer society, the sublimation of the individual, and the individual and self-determination. These issues underlie ...

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