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Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality
"I got my first job working in a toy store when I was 41 years old." So begins sociologist Christine Williams's description of her stint as a low-wage worker at two national toy store chains: one upscale shop and one big box outlet. In this provocative, perceptive, and lively book, studded with rich observations from the shop floor, Williams chronicles her experiences as a ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published January 9th 2006 by University of California Press
(first published December 10th 2005)
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Aug 24, 2008 Tiny Pants rated it really liked it
CLW hits it out of the park with this one -- this book was fantastic. I would particularly recommend it instead of the Juliet Schor books I recently reviewed. CLW takes a much more nuanced approach, looking not at whether consumption is good or evil, but instead examining how relationships of race, class, and gender are played out in the employment practices, store policies, and customer interactions via ethnographic work in two different toy store chains. Her detailed observation as well as her ...more
Interesting, but kind of depressing. It's tough to aviod shopping in these big box stores where employees are miserably treated, low paid and tracked by gender and race into separate streams of work. I was disappointed that the unionized store the author described had many of the same problems (and closed due to bankruptcy anyway.)Maybe online shopping is the answer. . . Wonder how employees at Amazon.com are faring?
This was an incredibly boring book. I've never worked in a toy store but from working in a grocery store, I can tell you that I have experienced all of this first hand and having to read about it was a waste of my time. I don't understand why any of this was worth writing down. Anyone could tell you these things.