New Books Network

Joshua Sperber

Consumer Management in the Internet Age

How Customers Became Managers in the Modern Workplace

Lexington Books 2019

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in EducationNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network December 16, 2019 Rebekah Buchanan

In Consumer Management in the Internet Age: How Customers Became Managers in the Modern Workplace (Lexington Books, 2019), Joshua Sperber analyzes online consumer management, a...

In Consumer Management in the Internet Age: How Customers Became Managers in the Modern Workplace (Lexington Books, 2019), Joshua Sperber analyzes online consumer management, a practice in which customers monitor, report on, and—sometimes unwittingly—discipline workers through writing and posting online reviews. Sperber uses case studies of the websites Yelp and Rate My Professors (RMP), to explore how online reviewing, a popular contemporary hobby, tells us much about the collapse of the barriers separating work and leisure as well as our need for collective purpose and community wherever we can find it. This book explores the economic implications of online reviews, as reviews provide both valuable free content for websites and surveillance of, respectively, restaurant servers and college instructors.


Rebekah Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative–both analog and digital in people’s lives. She is interested in how personal narratives produced in alternative spaces create sites that challenge traditionally accepted public narratives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at rj-buchanan@wiu.edu.