Marketing has situated itself as an indispensable tool in today's business world-an unavoidable step in the process from production to consumption. This book is the first of its kind to map out the organizing principles and cultural logic of marketing, and trace the profession's ascent to global domination. Applbaum argues that marketing can be seen as a particular set of cultural practices that surfaced in reaction to the affluence of Western society, and not the answer to the call of inherent human needs and wants. In order to understand globalization, transnational corporations, and the spread of consumer culture, one must understand the logic of marketing.
"A provocative, intellectually stimulating, and original book...Applbaum has brought marketing itself, alive and breathing, into the sphere of anthropological theory and argument. He leaves me convinced-I now think that capitalism is distinguished not only by the plenitude of products and services that it produces, but also by its success, through marketing, in inscribing consumption as a unitary way of life onto the very brains of its supporters." -- - Sidney Mintz, author of Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Power, and the Past
"This work addresses skillfully and with a rich trove of material a critical missing gap in the vast wave of research on the culture of contemporary capitalism. Applbaum describes not only one of the key origins of the idea of globalization but also one of the main articulating structures of capitalism that reveal markets to be more than abstractions, but the result of human design and agency." -- -George E. Marcus, author of Ethnography Through Thick & Thin
"This book constitutes an important departure from the standard paradigm of economic anthropology. The ethnography presented by Applbaum will be of use to everyone who works on globalization, marketing, and consumer cultures." -- -James L. Watson, editor of Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia
"This will delight and stimulate anyone interested in how modern mass consumption operates. Applbaum has pulled off some difficult tricks-the result obliges those who think they know about consumption and identity, economy and globalization, to think again." -- -James G. Carrier, editor of Meanings of the Market: The Free Market in Western Culture