chapter
24 Pages

Introduction

Women, consumption and paradox
WithTimothy de Waal Malefyt, Maryann McCabe

The topic of consumption in culture is broadly discussed in the social sciences from anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and other disciplines. From a commercial marketing standpoint, women have long had to deal with idealised versions of their bodies, patriarchal views of their roles in society and common misinformation about their bodily functions. Other scholarship that critiques marketing messages often casts consumption itself as negative, especially for women doing domestic chores. A dimension of networked effects entails tracing the multiple agents entangled in consumption practices, which expands rather than reduces and simplifies phenomena for women. Feminism and feminist anthropology provide a key vantage point from which to understand women’s consumption practices. Women as major consumers in the world are, then, prime practitioners of a culture of consumption and production, which locates women in a social world in which they engage, resist, adapt and modify a multitude of contrasting voices.