chapter  5
THE INDIVIDUAL, CONSUMPTION CULTURES AND THE FATE OF COMMUNITY
ByRob Shields
Pages 16

The changing status of individual identity in the context of consumption cultures and sites such as market squares and the mall environments of shopping centres is explored in this paper based on the experience of a comparative research project.1 Amidst the slippage of traditional sociological identities and theoretical structures, it is possible to find the less-recognized interstitial persistence of affective communities, based on a basic ‘sociability’ which Simmel (1950) theorized as sociality. This Einfühlung, the ‘affect’ of the sociological categories, persists beyond the usefulness of these concepts and provides an unassuming but powerful basis for continuing cultural arrangements despite the rapid change in old identities which has been described as ‘postmodernism’. The speculative nature of these comments must be underscored right here at the beginning.