Discussion Series Will Examine Commercialization Of Society
January 30, 2003--
With the free market system now the unchallenged form of
political economy throughout the world, life everywhere seems increasingly
consumerist and commercial. Will this extreme marketplace philosophy
lead society to good ends or strip away many of our highest values?
is one of the questions to be examined during this spring’s
annual colloquium series sponsored by the University of Virginia’s
Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Titled “The Commodification
of Everything,” the program will shed light on the forces
that are driving society to transform almost everything –-
from children’s lives to education to religion –- into
objects for sale.
distinguished speakers will explore the forces of commodification
and their widespread effects on contemporary culture. All discussions,
open to the public, will be at 3:30 p.m. in Minor Hall auditorium
on the dates indicated.
13 -- Juliet Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College,
will speak on “From Cool to Commodified: Targeting the American
Child.” Schor is the author of “The Overspent American”
and “The Overworked American” and has written extensively
on consumerism, tracking the way that increased consumer expectations
have placed profound new pressures on families.
27 -- George Ritzer, professor of sociology at the University
of Maryland and author of “The McDonaldization of Society,”
will speak on globalization and consumerism.
13 -- David Lyon of the sociology department of Queen’s
University, Ontario, will present a paper on “Commodification,
Classification and the Culture of Control.” His work focuses
on surveillance and the influence of new technologies and techniques
of classification on the ordering of our social world. His books
include “Jesus in Disneyland” and “The Surveillance
21 -- Graham Ward, professor of theology and ethics at
the University of Manchester, England, will discuss “The Commodification
of Religion.” He is the author of “True Religion”
and “Theology and Contemporary Critical Theory,” among
10 -- Kiku Adatto, a lecturer on Social Studies at Harvard
University who has written extensively on American culture, will
speak on “Selling Out Childhood,” focusing on the changing
culture of childhood and community life. Also speaking will be Michael
Sandel, a professor of government at Harvard, who is the author
of “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” and “Democracy’s
Discontents.” His paper is titled “Are There Some Things
that Money Can’t Buy?: The Moral Limits of Markets.”
more information, see the Institute Web site at www.virginia.edu/iasc
or call (434) 924-7705.
Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856