Alarm over the contribution of affluent lifestyles to global warming and environmental destruction is combining with growing disquiet over the damage affluence does to consumers themselves. Consumerism is increasingly felt to be both unsustainable and harmful to health and happiness. The search for alternative conceptions of the good life has moved from the margins to the centre of contemporary debate.
This collection offers a vital intervention in the context of this anxiety, disenchantment and openness to other ways of living. It engages with these developments as they are being reflected in culture and shaping experience in Britain, Europe and the United States. Its 'alternative hedonist' perspective informs an analysis that covers representations in film, TV and writing; new initiatives in the production and marketing of food; the ethics and politics of consumer choice; and philosophical and cultural inquiry into the nature of happiness and desire. Original, forcefully written and timely, it points towards a new inter-disciplinary understanding of how the consumer society and its future will be theorised, researched and taught in higher education and beyond.