Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Joseph W. Dauben

Subject Categories

Economics | History

Keywords

amazon; consumerism; credit cards; ebay; e-commerce; technology

Abstract

E-commerce is shifting the way people purchase their goods and services and affecting the relationship between technology and society. Consequently, traditional retailers, aware of the inevitable change, have developed strategies to keep up with the continuously evolving marketplace. These strategies vary from creating virtual stores (i.e., websites) and developing digital social networks to data mining and spamming.

Therefore, from a historical point of view, this thesis will analyze the impact of technology on commerce and how the creation of new virtual marketplaces had affected consumers' behavior. This thesis will explore the origins of e-commerce, the technologies that made possible its development, and who are some of the most influential entrepreneurs in the online retail business. Further, I will analyze how data mining has affected society's notion of personal information and privacy.

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