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Introduction – Critical consumption studies in South Africa: roots and routes: Mehita Iqani and Bridget Kenny

In November 2012, the newly established Critical Research in Consumer Culture (CRiCC) network1 hosted a two-day symposium at the University of the Witwatersrand titled ‘Consumer Practices, Media and Landscapes in South Africa: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives’. The symposium sought to examine and critically question the so-called rise of consumerism in South Africa after the demise of apartheid. 7KLV V\PSRVLXPZDV ± WR RXU NQRZOHGJH ± WKH¿UVW IRUXPH[SOLFLWO\ IRFXVHG RQ bringing together scholars working on research topics linked to consumption, to discuss and theorise interdisciplinary connections. This special issue emerges from that symposium and the ongoing seminars of the CRiCC network, but also further develops this work to make an argument for the importance of ‘critical consumption VWXGLHV¶DVDSUHVVLQJ¿HOGRIUHVHDUFKLQ6RXWK$IULFD6WXGLHVRIFRQVXPHUFXOWXUH are well established globally (Baudrillard 1998; Campbell 1989; Canclini 2001; Featherstone 2007; Iqani 2012; Lee 1993; Lury 1996; McCracken 1990; Miller 2013, 1994, 1998; Slater 1997), but little attention has explicitly been paid to theorising what consumption means in South Africa, historically and now, and how the unique lessons of our context might feed into global scholarship.