1st Edition

Social Psychology and Theories of Consumer Culture
A Political Economy Perspective

ISBN 9780415812030
Published May 2, 2013 by Routledge
184 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Social Psychology and Theories of Consumer Culture: A Political Economy Perspective presents a critical analysis of the leading positions in social psychology from the perspective of classical and contemporary theories of consumer culture. The analysis seeks to expand social psychological theory by focusing on the interface between modern western culture (consumer culture) and social behaviour.  

McDonald and Wearing argue that if social psychology is to play a meaningful role in solving some of society’s most pressing problems (e.g. global warming, obesity, addiction, alienation, and exclusion) then it needs to incorporate a more comprehensive understanding and analysis of consumer culture.  

Wide-ranging and challenging, the book offers a fresh insight into critical social psychology appropriate for upper undergraduate and postgraduate courses in personality, social psychology, critical and applied psychology. It will also appeal to those working in clinical, counselling, abnormal, and environmental psychology and anyone with an interest in the integration of social psychology and theories of consumer culture.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Theories Of Consumer Culture 3. Self-Identity In Consumer Culture 4. Emotional & Behavioural Problems In Consumer Culture 5. Consumer Culture And Space 6. Conclusion. References

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Matthew McDonald is a visiting research fellow in the Graduate School of Psychology, Assumption University, Bangkok and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society. He is the author and co-author of a number of books, the most recent including Critical Social Psychology: An Introduction (2nd edition; with Brendan Gough and Marjella McFadden) and Epiphanies: An Existential Philosophical and Psychological Inquiry.

Stephen Wearing is an associate professor in the Management Discipline Group at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is the author, co-author and editor of a number of books, including Tourist Cultures: Identity, Place and the Traveller (with Deborah Stevenson and Tamara Young) and Journeys of Discovery (with Kevin Lyons).


"During the past several decades, particularly since the emergence of the theory of social cognition during the 1970s, there have been numerous critiques of mainstream psychological social psychology as irrelevent to the understanding of societal problems. McDonald (Assumption Univ., Bangkok, Thailand) and Wearing (Univ. of Technology, Sydney, Australia) contribute to the field of critical social psychology, arguing that to make meaningful change in social behavior, psychological social psychology must acknowledge and integrate diverse theories of and research on consumer culture and aspects of political ecomony that maintain it. Summing Up: Recommended" - A.I. Piper, New College of Florida, in CHOICE, January 2014

"This book should be essential reading for social psychologists interested in addressing ‘real-world’ issues. The authors argue persuasively that social psychologists need to move beyond the comfort and limits of micro-theorising and experimental research in order to engage with concepts developed outside psychology but which matter greatly to individual identity and social relations: consumer culture and political economy. Perspectives from critical psychology, feminism, post-structuralism and social theory are deployed to critique problematic social psychological work and to enrich our understanding of key contemporary issues." - Prof. Brendan Gough, School of Social, Psychological & Communication Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

“The book is accessible and well organized, with the central thesis carried through and developed clearly. The authors argue strongly for a sustained and critical engagement with the contemporary political economy of the early twenty-first century if social psychology is to live up to its potential to engage with and develop effective solutions to the problems of selfhood, alienation and social exclusion that characterize contemporary society.” - Werner Böhmke, MA, Department of Psychology, Rhodes University