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SOC 358 Consumer Culture in Global Perspective (3 credits)

In recent years there have been dramatic changes in the ways we consume: chain stores are proliferating, products are increasingly being produced in developing countries, consumers are taking on record levels of debt, fashion and tastes are evolving at a faster rate than ever before, and advertising expenditures are at historic highs. All of these changes are associated with what we have come to know as globalization. This course will examine how advances in technology, communication, and transportation systems all impact our everyday lives as consumers. We will utilize contemporary sociological theories of globalization to examine these societal changes. The class will conclude with an in-depth analysis of ethical consumption. Although this course is primarily sociological in orientation, we will also examine how marketers psychologists, and social critics write about global consumer culture.