Small Towns and Big Business

Small Towns and Big Business : Challenging Wal-Mart Superstores

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Description

Small Towns and Big Business comprehensively examines the phenomenon of local protests against Wal-Mart superstores. Using fieldwork and archival sources, Halebsky situates these protests in the context of economic restructuring and the expansion of retailing; explains how some local social movements were able to successfully fend off the world's largest retailer; and assesses the implications for efforts to limit corporate power, resist McDonaldization, and protect local quality of life.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 24mm | 521.63g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739122401
  • 9780739122402

Review quote

In a manner that will appeal to local activists, social scientists, and everyone affected by superstores, and with a judicious mix of on-site interviews, archival research, and keen theorizing, Halebsky produces a powerful argument for the importance of social movements at the community level engaging with the local state in anti-corporate struggles. Now that the voters of the USA have elected a one-time community organizer as President, perhaps we will see more successful outcomes. Leslie Sklairrrr -- Leslie Sklair, emeritus professor of sociology, London School of Economics Halebsky's analysis of the existing literature is first rate, as he concisely and clearly weaves together several existing research areas to locate the controversies he examines within the appropriate context... The theoretical work that he has done in combination with the solid empirical evidence he provides should advance the efforts of students and social movements and community development alike. American Journal of Sociology, Spring 2010 Wal-Mart discussions by planners and social scientists have fragmented over the years into claims that are more political and cultural than observations based on systematic research. Stephen Halebsky helps to remedy our present knowledge with his thorough discussion. Challenging superstores means more than a fight between the 'little people' and powerful global corporations exploiting economies of scale and cheap foreign labor. Halebsky shows how this relationship also involves the local state and how its powers can be an aid in ameliorating negative effects. His book contextualizes responses to superstores as occurring within a realm of almost absolute power exercised by global corporations. Do we want this power to be extended to retailing? Limiting consumer choices is one result. More importantly, Halebsky's book shows how the fight against superstores is really about the battle against low wages, poor job benefits, a lack of the union option, and the persisting exploitation of American workers. -- Mark Gottdiener, University at Buffalo In a manner that will appeal to local activists, social scientists, and everyone affected by superstores, and with a judicious mix of on-site interviews, archival research, and keen theorizing, Halebsky produces a powerful argument for the importance of social movements at the community level engaging with the local state in anti-corporate struggles. Now that the voters of the USA have elected a one-time community organizer as President, perhaps we will see more successful outcomes. Leslie Sklair -- Leslie Sklair, emeritus professor of sociology, London School of Economicsshow more

About Stephen Halebsky

Stephen Halebsky is assistant professor of sociology at SUNY-Cortland.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Communities, Corporations, and Local Social Movements Chapter 2. Big Retailers, Aggressive Retail Development, and the Roots of Local Protest Chapter 3. How Superstores Affect Small Towns Chapter 4. Gig Harbor, Washington and Petoskey, Michigan: Do the People Want It? Chapter 5. West Bend, Wisconsin and Ottawa, Ohio: A Superstore in the Neighborhood? Chapter 6. Ashland, Wisconsin and Eureka, California: Economic Benefit for Whom? Chapter 7. Explaining Success Chapter 8. The Local State, Corporate Retailing, McDonaldization, and Local Anti-Corporate Activismshow more

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