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From anxieties over work-life balance and entangling technologies, to celebrations of cool jobs and great places to live, quality of life frames the ways we enhance our lives and legitimate social change today. But how does the idea of quality of life envision the greater good, and what gets lost as a result? This book provides the critical framework for understanding the idea’s contexts and tensions that are conspicuously missing in popular discussions, professional activities, and scholarly research on quality of life. With multiple case studies taken across North America and Europe, it provides a sociological perspective on the contradictory ways we talk about and pursue quality of life in relation to technology, consumerism, family, work, public space, rural ways of life, and ultimately the final years of life. Drawing on contemporary and classical social theory, it provides an incisive account of the historical shifts in developed societies over the last half-century that have transformed our views and pursuits of quality of life. Originally a promise to undertake collective effort and pursue social justice at a moment of unprecedented opportunity, quality of life now enshrines a solipsistic ideal with which to accommodate the storms of market forces and political failure.
An Affluent Society? by Lawrence Black,Hugh Pemberton Pdf
During an election speech in 1957 the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, famously remarked that 'most of our people have never had it so good'. Although taken out of context, this phrase soon came to epitomize the sense of increased affluence and social progress that was prevalent in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, despite the recognition that Britain had moved away from an era of rationing and scarcity, to a new age of choice and plenty, there was simultaneously a parallel feeling that the nation was in decline and being economically outstripped by its international competitors. Whilst the study of Britain's postwar history is a well-trodden path, and the paradox of absolute growth versus relative decline much debated, it is here approached in a fresh and rewarding way. Rather than highlighting economic and industrial 'decline', this volume emphasizes the tremendous impact of rising affluence and consumerism on British society. It explores various expressions of affluence: new consumer goods; shifting social and cultural values; changes in popular expectations of policy; shifting popular political behaviour; changing attitudes of politicians towards the electorate; and the representation of affluence in popular culture and advertising. By focusing on the widespread cultural consequences of increasing levels of consumerism, emphasizing growth over decline and recognizing the rising standards of living enjoyed by most Britons, a new and intriguing window is opened on the complexities of this 'golden age'. Contrasting growing consumer expectations and demands against the anxieties of politicians and economists, this book offers all students of the period a new perspective from which to view post-imperial Britain and to question many conventional historical assumptions.
The New Industrial State by John Kenneth Galbraith Pdf
With searing wit and incisive commentary, John Kenneth Galbraith redefined America's perception of itself in The New Industrial State, one of his landmark works. The United States is no longer a free-enterprise society, Galbraith argues, but a structured state controlled by the largest companies. Advertising is the means by which these companies manage demand and create consumer "need" where none previously existed. Multinational corporations are the continuation of this power system on an international level. The goal of these companies is not the betterment of society, but immortality through an uninterrupted stream of earnings. First published in 1967, The New Industrial State continues to resonate today.
Managing Overflow in Affluent Societies by Barbara Czarniawska-Joerges,Orvar Löfgren Pdf
“It is simply too much” is a common complaint of the modern age. This book looks at how people and institutions deal with overflow - of information, consumption or choices. The essays explore the ways in which notions of overflow – framed in terms of excess and abundance or their implicit opposites, scarcity and dearth – crop up in a number of contexts such as sociological and economic theory, management consulting, consumer studies, and the politics of everyday life. Chapters range from studies of overload at home, at work or in the world of cyber information; strategies of coping with overflow in institutions such as news agencies; and historical comparisons. When, where, how and for whom is overflow a problem or a blessing?
In this prophetic call to faithful Christian living, Marva Dawn identifies the epidemic socio-cultural attitudes that destroy hope in our modern lives. Because affluent persons don't know what to value--how to choose what's important and weed out the rest--we remain dissatisfied with what we have and are compelled to want more. Dawn demonstrates, however, how Christians can organize their lives to live in ways that allow them to love God and neighbor and, in the process, alleviate the despair in their lives and in the lives of others in the world.
The 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time by Robert McCrum Pdf
Beginning in 1611 with the King James Bible and ending in 2014 with Elizabeth Kolbert's 'The Sixth Extinction', this extraordinary voyage through the written treasures of our culture examines universally-acclaimed classics such as Pepys' 'Diaries', Charles Darwin's 'The Origin of Species', Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' and a whole host of additional works --
In his new introduction to this classic text on political economy, Galbraith reasserts the validity of the core thesis of American Capitalism: The best and established answer to economic power is the building of countervailing power. The trade union remains an equalizing force in the labor markets, and the chain store is the best answer to the market power of big food companies. This work remains an essential guidepost of American mores as well as that as of the American economy.
The life and times of America's most celebrated economist, assessing his lessons-and warnings-for us today John Kenneth Galbraith's books -- among them The Affluent Society and American Capitalism -- are famous for good reason. Written by a scholar renowned for energetic political engagement and irrepressible wit, they are models of provocative good sense that warn prophetically of the dangers of deregulated markets, war in Asia, corporate greed, and stock-market bubbles. Galbraith's work has also deeply-and controversially-influenced his own profession, and in Richard Parker's hands his biography becomes a vital reinterpretation of American economics and public policy. Born and raised on a small Canadian farm, Galbraith began teaching at Harvard during the Depression. He was FDR's "price czar" during the war and then a senior editor of Fortune before returning to Harvard and to fame as a bestselling writer. Parker shows how, from his early championing of Keynes to his acerbic analysis of America's "private wealth and public squalor," Galbraith regularly challenged prevailing theories and policies. And his account of Galbraith's remarkable friendship with John F. Kennedy, whom he served as a close advisor while ambassador to India, is especially relevant for its analysis of the intense, dynamic debates that economists and politicians can have over how America should manage its wealth and power. This masterful chronicle gives color, depth, and meaning to the record of an extraordinary life.
Stone Age Economics is a classic of economic anthropology, ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively. This collection of six influential essays is one of Marshall Sahlins' most important and enduring works, claiming that stone age economies formed the original affluent society. The book examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.
Stone Age Economics is a classic study of anthropological economics, first published in 1974. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, the book includes six studies which reflect the author's ideas on revising traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original affluent society. The book examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. It consists of a set of detailed and closely related studies of tribal economies, of domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large.