The Hard Sell: An Ethnographic Study of the Direct Selling Industry
In this work John Bone provides a lively and engaging insight into the social world of direct selling organizations. He investigates these under-researched organizations via a detailed ethnography of two home improvement companies selling products such as fitted kitchens, double glazing and conservatories, as well as developing wider sociological debates on trust and interaction. These organizations tend to be loosely ordered and internally competitive collectives whose sole aim is to maximize short term profits through sales strategies that routinely employ the calculative exploitation of consumer norms and expectations. John Bone uses his findings to argue that amid the wave of increasing deregulation and liberalization that has supplanted the planned and regulated form of capitalism that predominated until the 1970s, such conditions are now becoming prevalent in mainstream contemporary organizations, threatening to unleash a latent disorder that underlies the rationality of 'modern' business.
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