The combination of the industrial revolution and the consumer society




Today the world is becoming more homogenous and, with increasingly few exceptions, big-name brands

dominate main streets, high streets and shopping malls all over the globe. 

We dress the same; we want the same latest technological kit; we drive the same cars. But where did this

uniformity come from? The answer is the combination of the industrial revolution and the consumer society. 

Originating in Britain but flourishing most spectacularly in America, the advent of mass consumption has

changed the way the world worked. Led by the Japanese, one non-Western society after another has adopted

the same model, embracing the Western way of manufacturing and consuming. 

Only the Muslim world has resisted. But how long can the burkha hold out against Levi's? 

Niall Ferguson examines whether we are now seeing the first effective challenge to the global dominance of

Western consumerism. 

Please watch the film and discuss the following questions in the relevant forum thread. 

1. What is your view on globalisation? 

2. Are we becoming more homogenised or more individualised? 


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