The hidden persuaders: institutions and individuals in economic theory
In his classic book The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard claimed that large corporations manipulated consumers, using advertising techniques. John Kenneth Galbraith and others have repeated a similar view. Against this, Gary Becker and George Stigler have claimed that advertising is essentially informative rather than manipulative. In contrast, it is argued here that both of these opposed accounts of human agency neglect the more subtle and undesigned processes by which institutions bear upon and mould individuals. This paper proposes a concept of 'reconstitutive downward causation' in which institutions act upon individual habits and dispositions. The mechanisms involved do not fall foul of past critiques of 'holism' or methodological collectivism. This argument involves a rehabilitation of the concept of habit in social science, with far-reaching implications. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Volume (Year): 27 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://www.cje.oupjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:27:y:2003:i:2:p:159-175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.