The Political Economy of Consumer Behavior

Contesting Consumption

By Bruce Pietrykowski

© 2011 – Routledge

198 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415782852
pub: 2011-09-25
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Hardback: 9780415773126
pub: 2009-04-08
US Dollars$145.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Consumption forms a major part of people’s lives. As such, geographers, historians of technology and sociologists have devoted much attention to trying to figure out what makes consumption meaningful. By contrast, economists have been content to hold onto theories of consumption that depend on a self-interested representative agent making utility maximizing decisions.

Pietrykowski develops this alternative account through the recovery of past attempts to forge a different analytical approach to the study of consumption. In particular, theories of consumption espoused by home economists, psychological economists and Regulation school theorists are critically reviewed. These research projects, marginalized by the mainstream, are the precursors of contemporary scholarship in feminist, behavioural and radical political economics. Reclaiming this work greatly enlarges the scope for contemporary research in consumer behavior. Pietrykowski then provides a richly textured set of case studies of green automobility, slow food and alternative/local currency in order to explore the diversity of user cultures and to highlight resistant forms of consumer practice. By carefully interweaving historical and interdisciplinary research Pietrykowski creates a lively and incisive critique of mainstream economics

This monograph will be of interest to academic economists, sociologists, historians and graduate students. In addition, the economics of consumption would also be of interest to readers in management, marketing and schools of business administration.

Table of Contents

1. Consumption Matters 2. Economic Knowledge: Boundary-Keeping and Border Crossing 3. Economic Knowledge and Consumer Behavior: Home Economics and Feminist Analysis 4. Psychology And Economics: Max Wertheimer, Gestalt Theory and George Katona 5. Fordism and the Social Relations Of Consumption 6. Green Consumption and User Culture: The Case of the Toyota Prius 7. Slow Food: The Politics and Pleasure of Consumption 8. Consuming with Alternative Currency 9. Consuming For Social Change: Ethical and Political Consumption. References

About the Author

Bruce Pietrykowski is currently Professor of Economics and Director of Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he teaches courses in urban and regional studies, labour relations, and economic geography

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Social Economics

This series presents new advances and developments in social economics thinking on a variety of subjects that concern the link between social values and economics. Need, justice and equity, gender, cooperation, work, poverty, the environment, class, institutions, public policy, and methodology are some of the most important themes. Among the orientations of the authors are social economist, institutionalist, humanist, solidarist, cooperativist, radical and Marxist, feminist, post-Keynesian, behaviorist, and environmentalist. The series offers new contributions from today’s most foremost thinkers on the social character of the economy. 

Publishes in conjunction with the Association of Social Economics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
POL023000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions