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Reviewers’ comments on the first edition
“Zygmunt Bauman presents a cogently argued and compelling thesis... an important book from a distinguished scholar, that adds a new dimension to the poverty debate.” British Journal of Sociology
“It will be of great interest and value to students, teachers and researchers in sociology and social policy… [Bauman] provides a very forceful and sophisticated statement of the case; and a very well written one too. As a wide ranging analysis of our present discontents it is an admirable example of the sort of challenge which sociology at its best can offer to us and our fellow citizens to re-assess and re-think our current social arrangements.” Work, Employment and Society
“This is a stylish and persuasive analysis of the transition between the age of the ‘society of producers’ to that of the ‘society of consumers’.” Political Studies
It is one thing to be poor in a society of producers and universal employment; it is quite a different thing to be poor in a society of consumers, in which life projects are built around consumer choices rather than on work, professional skills or jobs. Where ‘being poor’ was once linked to being unemployed, today it draws its meaning primarily from the plight of a flawed consumer. This has a significant effect on the way living in poverty is experienced and on the prospects for redeeming its misery.
Work, Consumerism and the New Poor traces this change over the duration of modern history. It makes an inventory of its social consequences, and considers how effective different ways of fighting poverty and relieving its hardships are.
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