The Consumer Trap: Big Business Marketing in American Life

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University of Illinois Press, 2003 - Business & Economics - 203 pages
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The Consumer Trap blows the lid off the trillion-dollar-a-year business marketing industry, explaining how it continues to soak up economic and environmental resources and dominate the personal lives of citizens. Flouting conventional mainstream and radical thinking about consumer culture, Michael Dawson reveals how corporate marketing embodies and extends into personal life the scientific management principles famously enunciated by Frederick Winslow Taylor, whose earliest disciples predicted the big business marketing revolution. After revealing why corporate capitalism fuels an ever-increasing marketing race, Dawson provides a step-by-step account of how this behemoth works and expands. Using firsthand evidence, he explains in detail how big business marketing campaigns penetrate and profoundly affect the lives of ordinary Americans. Dawson argues that if people are to escape the costly consumer trap set by the overclass, they will need to renew class struggle from below, inventing new institutions for democratically governing and implementing major economic decisions. A blueprint for reinventing the study and debate of the sociocultural effects of corporate marketing practices, The Consumer Trap makes big business marketing a target of direct historical and sociological scrutiny.
 

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Contents

Thinking the Unthinkable
5
The Marketing Race
16
The Targeting Race
35
The Motivation Research Race
53
The Product Management Race
77
The Sales Communications Race
96
Macromarketing and Public Subsidy
117
The Globalization of Marketing
124
The Consumer Trap
132
1o Escaping the Consumer Trap
155
Notes
175
Index
197
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