GLOBAL CONSUMER CULTURE
Why do Americans waste so much food and energy?
Is a single global consumer culture covering the world?
What is really causing Global Warming?
What can we do to reduce Environmentally Harmful Consumption?
will add links to this site as I find them. Right now
a good starting place is a paper I have written for
the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences committee on global
environmental change, which defines some of the key issues. ("Emulation
and Global Consumerism." in Environmentally Significant Consumption.
Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change, National
Ø The International Society for Marketing and Development is a loose collection of academics in marketing and other related fields, many in developing countries. They have excellent annual meetings, much more international than most consumer-research groups.
The Association for Consumer Research is an
organization of academics and marketers, who hold annual meetings in the
Ger at the
Ø The Center for a New American Dream is devoted to teaching wasteful North Americans to think about the environmental consequences of consumption, and promote frugal lifestyles.
Ø Don Slater, whose excellent book "Consumer Culture and Modernity" is reviewed elsewhereon this site, also has a useful and informative web resource called the Consumer Culture Research Site. Superb bibliography, course outlines, and interesting selection of links.
Center for Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technology( CREST),
of the most interesting sources of consumer information on the
Ø Wonder whatever happened to the Marxist critique of commodity capitalism? Its on the web at a site called THE COMMODITY FETISH TIMES, which includes a lot of impassioned marxist rants, and links to other sites on the "Commie Ring."
Ø A link to a newsletter called "Use Less Stuff," advised by archaeologist Bill Rathje, includes a lot of practical tips about ways to cut down your waste stream. cygnus-group.com/ULS/About_ULS.html . They have just published a new book called "use less stuff."
Ø This website on living lightly has similar advice. http://www.scn.org/earth/lightly/karvsacp.htm
Ø Frugal Corner is a comprehensive list of anti-consumer and 'live lightly' web links, and includes a lot of practical information on cutting waste.
Ø The Media Foundation publishes Adbuster's magazine. Their website is interesting, graphic, and comprehensive. Concentrates (to an extreme) on the role of the media, especially TV, in promoting consumerism and suppressing alternatives. They sposnor "Buy Nothing Day" and other forms of protest.
Voluntary Simplicity Study Groups and
Circles are a growing trend in the
Ø The Context Institute is a nonprofit research organization, "exploring and clarifying just what is involved in a humane sustainable culture - and how we can get there." Emphasis on philosophy, ethics, and values, with a number of papers on global issues. Depends heavily on ideas of spirituality and community activism, light on data.
Ø Allen Hammond's book "Which World" discusses possible global futures, including a good deal of discussion of the growth of consumer culture. Good futurist projections, in an excellent website based on the content of the book. Some useful teaching resources here, though not a font of optimism.
Ø The book Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism by Richard H. Robbins is one of the best introductions to global issues I have seen. It has an associated website with lost of excellent academic and activist links, extensive extracts of the book, and a generally balanced discussion of major issues including consumerism.
project on Environmentally Significant Consumption, funded by the European
Science Foundation, has held two wonderful conferences at the
excellent new site on the cross-cultural study of food
habits has recently appeared, assembled by Robert Dirks at
Ø One interesting place is Corporate Watch, which tracks global capitalism from the perspective that transnational corporations are the villains. Kind of like the point of view in Korten's "When Corporations Rule the World." A lot of their information comes from "The Corporate Planet: Ecology and Politics in the Age of Globalization" (Sierra Club Books, 1997). http://www.corpwatch.org/trac/feature/index.html. In the same vein we have the Multinational Monitor at http://www.essential.org/monitor/monitor.html.
Bouchet, professor of Marketing at
Ø Peoplink is an organization that tries to create new person-to-person links in the global economy by using the internet to connect poor artisans in developing countries with buyers in the prosperous north. Their website is http: www.peoplink.org.
Internet for Global Trade
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