Chapter 2Theorising consumption
There can be no theory-neutral language which can be used to describe consumption in a
social formation. Some concepts of periodization, for instance, are necessary so that, as
has already been indicated, ‘consumption’ changed from its meaning in early capitalism
to its role in late twentieth-century capitalism. The meaning of the concept of
consumption changes and varies depending upon its use within different overall
theoretical perspectives and, within one perspective, the meaning of the term may change
depending upon the historical period being analysed.