The fact that we inhabit a consumer society has incredibly far-reaching implications. Working through the often controversial ideas of the consumer society's most influential theorists, Jean Baudrillard and Zygmunt Bauman, this book assesses the ways in which consumerism is reshaping the nature and meaning of the city. It examines the nature of consumption and its increasing centrality to post-modern society by; *considering the development of consumerism as a central facet of social life *demonstrating that social inequalities are increasingly structured around consumption *uncovering the hidden consequences of consumerism *pondering the meaning of lifestyle *revealing how the nature of reality is changing in an age of globalization. Employing a sustained and engaging theoretical analysis, the book ranges across a variety of sometimes unexpected topics. It represents an impassioned plea for everyone interested in the social life of cities to take the notion of the consumer society - and the arguments of its major theorists - seriously.