Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xviii

Writing a book about economic controversies in the early years of the twenty-first century turned out to be a very tricky project. The past several years have witnessed economic events of historic proportions, including a global financial crisis, government intervention in financial firms, and reforms to the nation’s health care market that have perhaps been matched...

Part 1: Why Should We Care about the Wal-Mart Debate?

read more

1. Constructing Moral Markets

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-18

Despite what its title might suggest, this is not really a book about Wal-Mart. Curiosity about the world’s largest retailer has prompted a spate of recent books about the company’s business model, history, and influence on the world’s economy—all worthy topics, to be sure. But as a sociologist, I am less concerned with what Wal-Mart does and more with what...

read more

2. Contextualizing the Wal-Mart Wars

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 19-42

December 22, 1992, turned out to be an important day for both the history and the future of the Wal-Mart corporation. As Robert Slater tells the story, shortly before Sam Walton died, he had reluctantly agreed to give a pre-Christmas interview to Dateline NBC’s Jane Pauley, whose producers pitched the story as a positive exploration of Wal-Mart’s winning retail strategies. Keeping the company’s commitment after Walton’s death, the...

Part 2: Competing Frameworks for Market Morality

read more

3. Individuals and Communities

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-76

When Sarah Palin addressed a crowd of Americans who had assembled in Boston on April 14, 2010, she was preaching to the faithful. Marking the last stop of the Tea Party Express—a bus convoy that had traveled throughout the country to rally groups of Americans advocating smaller government, individual freedoms, and fiscal restraint—Palin’s keynote speech concluded...

read more

4. Thrift and Benevolence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 77-114

Americans’ debates over health care reform raise a host of issues inviting moral reflection from the American people. Is health care a right or a privilege? Who should make decisions about costly end-of-life procedures? And perhaps most important, how much will health care reform ultimately cost? Aside from the ethical issues involved in health care decisions (the...

read more

5. Freedom and Fairness

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-150

As Americans welcomed in the new year in 2009, most were still reeling from the previous year’s financial meltdown. Americans had lost substantial portions of their retirement savings in the fall’s perilous stock market decline, and watched the equity in their homes evaporate seemingly overnight. Economists forecast double-digit rates of unemployment, and cable...

Part 3: Market Morality in Media and Politics

read more

6. How Wal-Mart Wins the War of Words

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 153-174

Wal-Mart’s critics, like most social movement activists, have a common goal: to be noticed in the press. For groups like Wal-Mart Watch, earning recognition in larger spheres of discourse is a prerequisite for success because these groups have no real constituency, such as a local chapter that meets regularly to discuss goals, tactics, and future endeavors. At best, their core “constituency"...

read more

7. Moral Populism in the Twenty-First Century

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 175-188

The joke goes something like this: A union member, a member of the Tea Party, and a corporate CEO are sitting around a table looking at a plate that holds a dozen cookies. The CEO reaches across and takes eleven cookies, looks at the Tea Partier, and says, “Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.” Circulated on political blogs and social networking...

Appendix: Methodology

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-194

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-204

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 205-214

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-224

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 225-244