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Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Continuity and Change in the Cathedrals of Consumption Paperback – December 9, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1412975810 ISBN-10: 1412975816 Edition: Third Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I like the fact that the book is relatively even-handed - appreciating spectacle even while forcing students to question critically the effects of consumption in their lives and those of their fellow citizens."

(Gary Alan Fine 2004-05-07)

"Enchanting a Disenchanted World is a tour de force. Drawing upon a rich array of examples, George Ritzer provides an original and insightful analysis of the new means of consumption and how they are transforming our lives. . . . Analytically crisp, jargon free, and packed with fresh illustrations, Enchanting a Disenchanted World is equally effective as an engaging read for specialists and a lucid text for classroom use. Highly recommended to scholars and students."

(Kevin Fox Gotham 2004-05-07)

"I think this is a great book! I have enjoyed working with it, and so have my students. . . . I especially like the chapters that deal with social theory. These chapters are very effective in presenting social theory to students, as they contain very clear and straightforward explanations of the ideas of otherwise very complex and difficult social theorists."

(Ann Branaman 2004-05-07)

"I think this is a good undergraduate text which can engage students in lively discussions of many recent trends in consumer culture."

(Katya Makarova 2004-05-07) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was awarded the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association, an honorary doctorate from LaTrobe University in Australia, and the Robin Williams Lectureship from the Eastern Sociological Society. His best-known work, The McDonaldization of Society (8th ed.), has been read by hundreds of thousands of students over two decades and translated into over a dozen languages. Ritzer is also the editor of McDonaldization: The Reader; and author of other works of critical sociology related to the McDonaldization thesis, including Enchanting a Disenchanted World, The Globalization of Nothing, Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society, as well as a series best-selling social theory textbooks and Globalization: A Basic Text. He is the Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2 vols.), the Encyclopedia of Sociology (11 vols.; 2nd edition forthcoming), the Encyclopedia of Globalization (5 vols.), and is Founding Editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture. In 2016 he will publish the second edition of Essentials of Sociology with SAGE.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; Third Edition edition (December 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412975816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412975810
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H Slaven on September 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book changed the way I view my own habits of consumption. I found his analysis of contemporary trends in consumption interesting and provocative. Also interesting was his conclusion that as people grow accustomed to the new means of consumption that they have to be continually impressed by something new. I thought his remarks on the architecture of the "cathedrals of consumption" were also very important. The most unsettling aspect of the book was Ritzer's comparison of modern styles of consumption with religious institutions, and even the conformity of religious institutions to this new means of consumption (i.e., the mega-churches of today). It was a good read, too, not too dense or pretentious. Very engaging.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Irwin on February 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible read for anyone who is terrified of consumerism, but doesn't find the critique presented by zombie subcultures a satisfying alternative. Where zombie movies and posters are hypocritical (in that you're just consuming someone else's noise), inarticulate/vague, and present violence as the only alternative, this book is enlightening. It helps you to embrace your role as an active/informed consumer and better understand what it is that makes you consume.

Though this edition was released a few years ago, it still captures 'now' incredibly well. Here's an excerpt about Amazon, and even what I'm doing as I write these words:

"As an internet provider of books (and now many other things), Amazon.com (and other consumption sites on the Internet) presents an interest case of efficiency through putting the consumer to work. The most obvious point is that the customer does all the work involved in placing an order. Less obvious is the fact that customers are invited to submit thoughts on, and reviews of, books; these reviews are then posted on the Web site. Customers, therefore, not only do the work of ordering but also serve as unpaid book reviewers. Many other sites on the Internet invite comments from people (e.g., cruise lines), and those who write positive statements are serving as unpaid public relations people."
- Quote from page 73

Hilarious. It further notes that the success of sites like Amazon has in many way further spurred the emphasis of "blockbuster" books at book stores like Borders that have to compete with the success of e-commerce. Thus, quantity (of sales) over quality (of the material) is being further and further emphasized in our culture.

Read it, embrace its truth, and remember to breathe.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ritzer does a good job of awakening the average consumer to the explotation they are undergoing daily.
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By Amazon Customer on April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this for a class but if you have an interest in consumerism I would give this book a chance. I shows ways in which people are encouraged to spend in todays society and George Ritzer is an excellent writer.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Weston Wolf on January 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I realize that he's trying more to paint a landscape than to make a linear argument, but the argument really might have helped him out. I enjoyed reading about some of the scenes that he described, and even picked up some good information on terminology relating to sociology, Weber, Marxism, and consumerism, but the journey through the book was for the most part rambling and difficult to focus on. Half the time I wasn't sure what his argument was supposed to be, and the structure of the book was very flat. I respect the guy's ideas and I know he's done some good work--but this is not one of his better books
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