Skip to main content

GEC3407 The World as A Shopping Mall: Home

Course Description

By focusing on the social processes surrounding consumption and consumerism, this course aims to help students explore important sociological subjects such as culture and the media, deviance and crime, race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, families and religion, education and health care, population and the environment, globalization and related topics. Students will also learn various research methods, which help sociologists to study these topics. Through daily consumer culture, you will be equipped with sociological perspectives as well as analytical skills, which enables you to “see the strange in the familiar.” 

Recommended Books

Introducing Sociology, Using the Stuff of Everyday Life

This book believes that sociology and sociological thinking can be understood by looking at everyday consumer stuff. The chapters are organized into three sections. After an introductory chapter that uses the case of jeans to introduce the sociological imagination, Part I of the book focuses on the basics of consumptions: eating and drinking. While Part 2 explores how commodities connect to the social dynamic: fitting into a group, Part 3 explores how commodities connect to the social dynamic: standing out from the crowd. At the very end is an appendix on sociological methods.

The Sociology of Consumption: A Global Approach

This book offers college students, scholars, and interested readers an overview of consumption. After an introductory chapter, the book begins to examine the rise of modern retail and credit from the mid-nineteenth century until World War II and changes in retail, marketing, and technology since the 1970s. Then it turns to explore how consumption reflects inequalities based on social class and status, and how gender and race figure in consumption. The following chapters focuses on consumption across the life course, consumers as citizens, and consumer citizenship in the contemporary era. The final chapter reviews the key arguments in the book.

How the Shopping Cart Explains Global Consumerism

This book provides an overview of consumerism and the globalization of American Culture through examination of how the everyday shopping cart is connected to a complex web of food production and consumerism that has spread from the United States throughout the world. This book includes a history of the shopping cart’s original development in 1940s Oklahoma and elsewhere. It also considers a more recent transformation that Warnes’ own experience reflects. Warnes argues that the supermarket’s system of food production has become even more dominant since the year 2000 by commandeering entire regions for agroindustrial production and by channelling its products through complex networks of global distribution.

Environmental Sociology: From Analysis to Action

This book collects 23 essays addressing topics in environmental sociology. Part One argues that social forces affect how we see and understand nature. Part Two uses a political economy perspective to provide case studies in different regions. Part Three examines the relationship between social inequality and environmental degradation. Part Four examines how people’s understandings of nature and environment are produced and maintained. Part Five uses a perspective on disaster to provide case studies. Part Six studies the effect of globalization on local and global environments as well as environmental equality. Part Seven focuses on knowledge, science, health, and/or risk. Part Eight studies environmental change and relative social movements.

Global Cities, Local Streets: Everyday Diversity from New York to Shanghai

This book reports on the rapidly expanding field of global urban studies through a unique pairing of six teams of urban researchers from around the world. Altogether eight essays are collected in this book. Beginning with an examination of the ecosystem of local shopping streets, then the book turns to present shopping streets from each city- New York, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Berlin, Toronto, and Tokyo- how they have changed over years, and how they illustrate globalization embedded in local communities. The book eventually ends with an examination of the local shopping streets in the context of globalization. This book is ideal for courses in urbanization, consumption, and globalization.

Recommended Databases