My Top 5 Books on Consumerism
Naomi Klein (Picador)
Klein analyzes the economic history that has yielded an ascendant corporatism, as well as the real effects of consumerism on global workers. It is necessary reading, as demanding as it is rewarding, even for readers who disagree with her grounding in Marxist thought.
Lead Us into Temptation: The Triumph of American Materialism
James B. Twitchell (Columbia University Press)
While Twitchell, a former professor of literature and advertising, has overly optimistic conclusions, he offers an unparalleled diagnosis of consumerism as the primary meaning-making practice in Western culture.
Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Douglas Coupland (St. Martin's Griffin)
Coupland's novel about (arguably) the first consumerist generation, whose name his book helped popularize, offers a vivid account of the historical dislocation on which consumerism depends. Read this to better understand the cultural soil that nourishes it.
Consuming Religion: Religious Belief and Practice in a Consumer Culture
Vincent J. Miller (Continuum)
The Roman Catholic theologian offers a sophisticated analysis that puts Christian theology, sociology, and critical theory into dialogue with contemporary consumer practices. Especially suited for academic settings.
The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity
Skye Jethani (Zondervan)
Jethani, an incisive thinker, offers a creative critique of contemporary church practices. Especially valuable for an evangelical audience, which may cringe at the reflection in the mirror this book holds up.
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