Consumerism, Suburbia, and the Crisis

Richard Florida‘s work on the connection between good urbanism, creativity and economics is interesting, convincing and timely. He has given an excellent overview of the historical and cultural causes of the current financial crisis that I have seen at the Globe and Mail. If you need a quote before you read it, here’s one:

The real reason is that the roots of the current crisis are tied to the fundamental nature of the postwar model of economic development called “Fordism.” That model drew a tight connection between assembly-line mass production and mass consumption – ultimately fuelled by massive suburbanization.

…While Fordism looks stable on the surface, it suffers from a fatal flaw: It’s impossible for consumption to keep up with the ever-growing pace and efficiency of production.

Individual identity vs. the financial crisis –

3 responses to “Consumerism, Suburbia, and the Crisis”

  1. Florida, this is funny. I never heard of him before but showed up at the planning meeting for a huge Humanities Conference and was given his “Why Place Matters.” Then in the english election debates Elisabeth May directly refers to Florida. Now I find him on your blog. Hmmmmm. Guess I need to read this guy. :-)

    BTW Matt, I finished my research and did very well. My paper was “An Incarnational Theology of the Emerging Church”. I didn’t end up citing your paper, but it did convince me to find ways of bypassing the whole postmodern connection (that would have easily overshadowed my thesis).

  2. Yes, definitely read his “The Rise of the Creative Class.” Fascinating, timely stuff. His writing gives me slim hope that the social sciences might still be of some use.

    Glad to hear that my thesis was useful in steering clear of the whole mess! ;)

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