chapter  9
3 Pages


Having examined the changing nature of the retailing and consumption of house furnishings over a long historical period, and considered their relationships, it seems that the three aspects considered by Roche – production and commerce, consumption, and objects and style – can also be linked to three fundamental values which connect them. The first is the economic connection, linked to production and commerce, which orthodox economists would recognize as exchange value. This is the classic 'marketplace' situation, whereby a retailer makes goods available, and a consumer makes a selection. The second is use value, which refers to the satisfaction of needs and wants, where furnishings 'serve' the consumer. This is an important part of the process, and recognizes changing needs and functions of goods over time. The third is identity-value, which is linked to objects and style as part of the process of an individual's attempts at both differentiation and self-definition, where goods act on behalf of the owner.