Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture

Book Reviews | Mar 3rd, 2007

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Author: Sharon Zukin
Publisher: Routledge
Genre: Social Science
Pages: 336
Retail Price: 9.99
Buy on Amazon.com link

Synopsis: Americans’ large amount of disposable income has created its own culture of shopping, associating purchasing with pleasure and filling our spiritual vacuum, even when in excess it puts us in the hole.

Good: Great idea, has some insights, and book spans all types of stores and their psychological associations brand name, convenience, discounters, high couture, superstores, Internet, etc.

Bad: Author puts self into book too much, and too many dopey interviews with shoppers. Makes it fluffy for a sociology book, though I hear her urban planning books are similar. Also, very New York-centric.

Bottom Line: An important topic that’s executed poorly and fluffily.
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