The Price of a Bargain

Author: Gordon Laird
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780230101401
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this book, Laird traces the bargain – that touchstone of American culture – from its humble dollar-store origins to its recent role as global juggernaut. Along the way, he discovers that much of today's collapsing consumer economy is dangerously dependant upon unsustainable labor, transport, resources, trade imbalances, and consumer debt. Through interviews with everyone from box store executives to illegal immigrants, a single question emerges: Is the Wal-Mart culture sustainable on a global level? From Asia's factory borderlands to rural Mexico, from Las Vegas to the Arctic Circle, Laird explores the hidden revolution of discounting, and the promise and consequence of everyday low prices.

Introducing Sociology Using the Stuff of Everyday Life

Author: Josee Johnston
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317690672
Format: PDF, ePub
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The challenges of teaching a successful introductory sociology course today demand materials from a publisher very different from the norm. Texts that are organized the way the discipline structures itself intellectually no longer connect with the majority of student learners. This is not an issue of pandering to students or otherwise seeking the lowest common denominator. On the contrary, it is a question of again making the practice of sociological thinking meaningful, rigorous, and relevant to today’s world of undergraduates. This comparatively concise, highly visual, and affordable book offers a refreshingly new way forward to reach students, using one of the most powerful tools in a sociologist’s teaching arsenal—the familiar stuff in students’ everyday lives throughout the world: the jeans they wear to class, the coffee they drink each morning, or the phones their professors tell them to put away during lectures. A focus on consumer culture, seeing the strange in the familiar, is not only interesting for students; it is also (the authors suggest) pedagogically superior to more traditional approaches. By engaging students through their stuff, this book moves beyond teaching about sociology to helping instructors teach the practice of sociological thinking. It moves beyond describing what sociology is, so that students can practice what sociological thinking can do. This pedagogy also posits a relationship between teacher and learner that is bi-directional. Many students feel a sense of authority in various areas of consumer culture, and they often enjoy sharing their knowledge with fellow students and with their instructor. Opening up the sociology classroom to discussion of these topics validates students’ expertise on their own life-worlds. Teachers, in turn, gain insight from the goods, services, and cultural expectations that shape students’ lives. While innovative, the book has been carefully crafted to make it as useful and flexible as possible for instructors aiming to build core sociological foundations in a single semester. A map on pages ii–iii identifies core sociological concepts covered so that a traditional syllabus as well as individual lectures can easily be maintained. Theory, method, and active learning exercises in every chapter constantly encourage the sociological imagination as well as the "doing" of sociology.

Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies

Author: Richard B. McKenzie
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780387770017
Format: PDF, Docs
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This entertaining book seeks to unravel an array of pricing puzzles from the one captured in the book’s title to why so many prices end with "9" (as in $2.99 or $179). Along the way, the author explains how the 9/11 terrorists have, through the effects of their heinous acts on the relative prices of various modes of travel, killed more Americans since 9/11 than they killed that fateful day. He also explains how well-meaning efforts to spur the use of alternative, supposedly environmentally friendly fuels have starved millions of people around the world and given rise to the deforestation of rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Why Globalization Works

Author: Martin Wolf
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300102526
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Meticulous, well-structured, and persuasive." Martin Vander Weyer, Spectator

The Globalization Paradox

Author: Dani Rodrik
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191634255
Format: PDF
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For a century, economists have driven forward the cause of globalization in financial institutions, labour markets, and trade. Yet there have been consistent warning signs that a global economy and free trade might not always be advantageous. Where are the pressure points? What could be done about them? Dani Rodrik examines the back-story from its seventeenth-century origins through the milestones of the gold standard, the Bretton Woods Agreement, and the Washington Consensus, to the present day. Although economic globalization has enabled unprecedented levels of prosperity in advanced countries and has been a boon to hundreds of millions of poor workers in China and elsewhere in Asia, it is a concept that rests on shaky pillars, he contends. Its long-term sustainability is not a given. The heart of Rodrik’s argument is a fundamental 'trilemma': that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination, and economic globalization. Give too much power to governments, and you have protectionism. Give markets too much freedom, and you have an unstable world economy with little social and political support from those it is supposed to help. Rodrik argues for smart globalization, not maximum globalization.

Bound Together

Author: Nayan Chanda
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300134902
Format: PDF, ePub
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Since humans migrated from Africa and dispersed throughout the world, they have found countless ways and reasons to reconnect with each other. In this entertaining book, Nayan Chanda follows the exploits of traders, preachers, adventurers, and warriors throughout history as they have shaped and reshaped the world. For Chanda, globalization is a process of ever-growing interconnectedness and interdependence that began thousands of years ago and continues to this day with increasing speed and ease. In the end, globalization—from the lone adventurer carving out a new trade route to the expanding ambitions of great empires—is the product of myriad aspirations and apprehensions that define just about every aspect of our lives: what we eat, wear, ride, or possess is the product of thousands of years of human endeavor and suffering across the globe. Chanda reviews and illustrates the economic and technological forces at play in globalization today and concludes with a thought-provoking discussion of how we can and should embrace an inevitably global world.

Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies

Author: Richard B. McKenzie
Publisher: Copernicus
ISBN: 9781441926449
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This entertaining book seeks to unravel an array of pricing puzzles from the one captured in the book’s title to why so many prices end with "9" (as in $2.99 or $179). Along the way, the author explains how the 9/11 terrorists have, through the effects of their heinous acts on the relative prices of various modes of travel, killed more Americans since 9/11 than they killed that fateful day. He also explains how well-meaning efforts to spur the use of alternative, supposedly environmentally friendly fuels have starved millions of people around the world and given rise to the deforestation of rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Zombie Economics

Author: John Quiggin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691154546
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In the graveyard of economic ideology, dead ideas still stalk the land. The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism--the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many--members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us--and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future. Zombie Economics takes the reader through the origins, consequences, and implosion of a system of ideas whose time has come and gone. These beliefs--that deregulation had conquered the financial cycle, that markets were always the best judge of value, that policies designed to benefit the rich made everyone better off--brought us to the brink of disaster once before, and their persistent hold on many threatens to do so again. Because these ideas will never die unless there is an alternative, Zombie Economics also looks ahead at what could replace market liberalism, arguing that a simple return to traditional Keynesian economics and the politics of the welfare state will not be enough--either to kill dead ideas, or prevent future crises. In a new chapter, Quiggin brings the book up to date with a discussion of the re-emergence of pre-Keynesian ideas about austerity and balanced budgets as a response to recession.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Author: John Perkins
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
ISBN: 9781576755129
Format: PDF, ePub
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Perkins, a former chief economist at a Boston strategic-consulting firm, confesses he was an "economic hit man" for 10 years, helping U.S. intelligence agencies and multinationals cajole and blackmail foreign leaders into serving U.S. foreign policy and awarding lucrative contracts to American business.

A Better Globalization

Author: Kemal Derviş
Publisher: Ctr for Global Development
ISBN: 9780815717638
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Discusses the two broad dimensions of the globalization debate--economic, including finance, trade, poverty, and health; and political, covering security, the fight against terrorism, and the role of international institutions--and the significance of democratic consent in the twenty-first century"--Provided by publisher.