The consumer in society: Utopian visions revisited

The consumer in society: Utopian visions revisited Edward Bellamy's famous 1888 best-seller Looking Backward imagined a paradisal world where social and economic problems of poverty, strife, class, and war were eliminated through a Utopian political economy based on socialist principles. What makes Bellamy's thought compelling for marketing scholars is his emphasis on the consumer, his focus on equality as the vehicle for societal transformation, and his analysis of the role consumer desire, envy, and greed play in generating strife and strain. Thus, his Utopian vision seems to have much in common with the mantra of the modern marketing machine - happiness is material, and your credit card is your ticket to the good life. However, his vision of the good life is largely at odds with the market economy's version. This paper examines the man behind a uniquely consumer oriented socialist paradise and suggests that his writings have left an inspiring legacy that marketing academics might find insightful. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marketing Intelligence & Planning Emerald Publishing

The consumer in society: Utopian visions revisited

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Volume 18 (6/7): 7 – Dec 1, 2000

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0263-4503
DOI
10.1108/02634500010348978
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Edward Bellamy's famous 1888 best-seller Looking Backward imagined a paradisal world where social and economic problems of poverty, strife, class, and war were eliminated through a Utopian political economy based on socialist principles. What makes Bellamy's thought compelling for marketing scholars is his emphasis on the consumer, his focus on equality as the vehicle for societal transformation, and his analysis of the role consumer desire, envy, and greed play in generating strife and strain. Thus, his Utopian vision seems to have much in common with the mantra of the modern marketing machine - happiness is material, and your credit card is your ticket to the good life. However, his vision of the good life is largely at odds with the market economy's version. This paper examines the man behind a uniquely consumer oriented socialist paradise and suggests that his writings have left an inspiring legacy that marketing academics might find insightful.

Journal

Marketing Intelligence & PlanningEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2000

Keywords: Consumerism; Marketing theory; Post‐modernism; Consumer behaviour

References

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