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Culture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning, and Brand Management (v. 2) Paperback – July 22, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Suburban living rooms, 1950s tail fins, and Hollywood celebrities: in such examples of popular and material culture, McCracken (cultural anthropologist, author of Culture and Consumption, CH, Jul'88) finds provocative evidence for what North Americans value. This highly readable volume pairs informal essays with scholarly articles, all providing rich anthropological perspectives on the material elements of everyday life and how people build their identities, experiences, and relationships through them. People turn houses into homes by sheltering themselves with concentric rings of intimacy made of meaningful objects. They select and reject from marketplace offerings according to their notions of self and family. McCracken's meaning management concept usefully explores how advertisers, marketers, and celebrity endorsers compete as meaning makers who capture cultural meanings and attach them to products. His heated attacks on elitist critiques of consumer culture are lively but dated; half the chapters are reprinted, three from the 1980s. Few scholars still disdain popular and material culture as McCracken's targets once did. However, many do challenge assertions like his that the world of goods has become successfully democratized. Nonetheless, this collection of insights and arguments will serve general audiences, marketers, and students looking for fruitful ways of assessing consumer culture. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; students, lower―division undergraduate and up; and professionals.P. W. Laird, University of Colorado at Denver, Choice, February 2006



"... [McCracken's] freshness is as inspired and uplifting as it is novel. Culture and Consumption II is a wonderful read." ―Journal of Advertising Research



"Freakonomics, meet brandthropology. In this concise volume (a companion to his watershed 1998 effort) of articulate introspection and insightful ethnographic essays, the author exhorts anthropologists to take back their culture.... Culture and Consumption II is well suited for adoption as a supplementary text at any level in courses dealing with material culture or museology." ―Museum Anthropology Review



"This highly readable volume pairs informal essays with scholarly articles, all providing rich anthropological perspectives on the material elements of everyday life and how people build their identities, experiences, and relationships through them.... this collection of insights and arguments will serve general audiences, marketers, and students looking for fruitful ways of assessing consumer culture. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; students, lower-division undergraduate and up; and professionals." ―Choice, February 2006

About the Author

Grant McCracken is a member of The MIT Laboratory for Branding Cultures and a visiting scholar at McGill University and author of several books, including Culture and Consumption (IUP, 1988), Big Hair, and Transformation.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (July 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025321761X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253217615
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Trained as an anthropologist (Ph.D. University of Chicago), Grant has studied American culture and commerce for 25 years.

He has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and worked for many organizations including Timberland, New York Historical Society, Diageo, IKEA, Sesame Street, Nike, and Kimberly Clark.

He started the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, where he did the first museum exhibit on youth cultures.

He has taught anthropology at the University of Cambridge, ethnography at MIT, and marketing at the Harvard Business School. He is presently a research affiliate in the Department of Comparative Media at MIT.

He is a long time student of culture and commerce. He has explored this theme in two books: Culture and Consumption I, and Culture and Consumption II.

He has also looked at how Americans invent and reinvent themselves. He had explored this theme in two more books: Big Hair and Transformations: identity construction in a contemporary culture.

He is the student of American culture. Plenitude published in 1997 looked at the new explosive growth of contemporary culture. In Flock and Flow, he shows how contemporary culture and commerce change.

Two years ago, he published a book called Chief Culture Officer with Basic Books that argues that culture now creates so much opportunity and danger for the organization that need senior managers who focus on it full time. He is hoping this will create a new occupational destination for graduates in the arts and humanities.

This spring Grant is publishing a book called Culturematic with the Harvard Business Review Press.

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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bob on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I regret to say that this book was a waste of money and time. I found a few interesting nuggets, but I think most readers would miss them.

I regret this low rating because of McCracken's previous work, which was invaluably insightful. I have to wonder whether his purpose was to create a promotional product to give to potential clients.

I hope McCracken has returned to his previously high standards in subsequent work. But after reading this book, I'm reluctant to purchase later work until after I have had the opportunity to read it.
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By Wayne E. Ballentine on August 23, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This improves one's understanding of the dynamics of marketing and serves as a guide for contextual perspectives.
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