Finallythe author gives us a view at the most important theoretical approaches to aglobal consumer culture. According to Leslie Sklair (1991) the”culture-ideology of consumerism” is based on the idea that the meaning of lifeis based on the things that people possess. Within this concept, it should benoted that the predominant role of people is the role of consumers rather thancitizens, reducing all political action to provide resources for consumption(Goodman 2007: 344).
Another theoretical approach is given by Nestor García Canclini,who has an optimistic vision about the global consumer culture, says thatthrough consumption people give meaning to the world, communicating themselves throughthe objects they use. He illustrates that by saying that just as the goods aremade from different parts, produced in other countries, likewise is our culture(Ibid.:344).
Goodman argues that the problem of seeing consumption as areplacement for citizenship is that one cannot compare the free exercise ofdemocratic participation with the exercise of the consumer, in an areadominated by market corporations (Ibid.:345). Contrary to this optimistic view,Benjamin Barber (1995) offers a more negative view. He uses the term “McWorld”to refer to homogenization, and “Jihad” to refer to heterogenization.
Barber points out that none is good. He addsthat the nation state, which is the only one that transports democracy, isaffected and loses strength by the “McWorld”; and that “Jihad” is characterizedby being “reactionary, exclusionary and authoritarian” (Goodman 2007:346). Barber alsomentions that contrary to what is usually believed, that these theories areantithesis of the other, they are actually complementary since McWorld needsJihad to give a sense of identity and Jihad needs McWorld to use its technologyand improve its organization (Ibid.:346).
To concludeGoodman says that is not possible to asseverate, from the arguments that he presented,that there is a global consumer culture as more research is required. However,there are theoretical arguments that lead us to think that if there is a globalculture, that culture is consumer culture (Ibid.:347).