The impacts of Wal-Mart: The rise and consequences of the world's dominant retailer

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Wal-Mart has been both praised and pilloried as a template for twenty-first century capitalism. Therein lies the challenge in analyzing the world's largest retailer. We examine the sociological impact of Wal-Mart in terms of four themes: its business model and organizational structure, the dual impact of Wal-Mart's labor relations in terms of its own stores and working conditions in its global supply chain, the genesis and effectiveness of community mobilizations against Wal-Mart, and how Wal-Mart's growth is linked to the emergence of buyer-driven commodity chains in the global economy. Wal-Mart underscores the value of a public sociology agenda that embraces three research criteria: the incorporation of new media and audiences, the need to go global with our research, and the ability to work for change from within. Copyright © 2009 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gereffi, G; Christian, M

Published Date

  • December 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 /

Start / End Page

  • 573 - 591

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0360-0572

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-115947

Citation Source

  • Scopus