By George Ritzer

ISBN-10: 0803990448

ISBN-13: 9780803990449

This leading edge textual content specializes in an American icon, vital to usa tradition, that's swiftly changing into a world expression of prosperity - the bank card. George Ritzer explains what the bank card tells us, either stable and undesirable, in regards to the essence of the fashionable US and why and the way the bank card helps to remodel a lot of the world.

Drawing at the insights of either vintage and modern social thinkers, together with Georg Simmel, C Wright turbines, Karl Marx and Max Weber, in addition to micro-macro, agency-structure and Americanization theories, Ritzer additionally finds to scholars the robust insights won from utilizing the sociological `imagination' utilized to a subject that scholars find out about and have an interest in.

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Extra info for Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society

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I will analyze those problems, but before I do, we need much more background on credit cards and related phenomena, background that is the subject of Chapter 2. 1 T he modern credit card emerged in the United States in the decade following World War II. * Although all these developments had precursors, it was during this time that dramatic new forms exploded on the social scene: the first McDonald's franchise, which opened its doors in 1955; the opening of the first fully enclosed shopping mall (1956); the first mass-produced suburban housing in Levittown, New York (1947-1951); the founding of the Best Western (1946) and Holiday Inn (1952) motel chains; the beginning of mass production of television sets and the beginning of national television broadcasting (1946); and the opening of Disneyland (1955).

For example, Weber saw the bureaucrat as becoming litde more than a faceless cog in a bureaucratic machine. The credit card industry has also been an integral part of the rationalization process. By rationalizing the process by which consumer loans are made, the credit card industry has contributed to our society's dehumanization. 38 While building on Marx's concern with the economy, the critical school focuses on culture. 39 Mass culture is seen as pacifying and stupefying. It could be argued that the consumer culture that credit cards help foster has such effects on people by helping to keep them immersed in the endless and mindless pursuit of goods and services.

Debunking Credit Card Myths To most of us, credit cards appear to have near-magical powers, giving us greater access to a cornucopia of goods and services. They also seem to give us something for nothing. That is, without laying out any cash, we can leave the mall with an armload of purchases. Most of us like what we can acquire with credit cards, but some like credit cards so much that they accumulate as many as they can. Lots of credit cards, with higher and higher spending limits, are important symbols of success.

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Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society by George Ritzer

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