With an emphasis on everyday life, this respected text offers a lively and perceptive account of the key theories and ideas which dominate the field of consumption and consumer culture. This third revised and expanded edition is a major update of the text of the second edition, adding new chapters on youth culture and consumption, retail psychology, gender and consumption, the globalization of food, and digital consumption and platform capitalism.
Theoretical perspectives are introduced such as theories of practice, critical theory, semiotics, and psychoanalysis. Examples from film, literature, and television are used to illustrate concepts and trends in consumption, and a wide range of engaging and up-to-date case studies of consumption are employed throughout. Historical context is provided to help the reader understand how we became consumers in the first place. Written by an experienced teacher, the book offers an accessible and thought-provoking introduction to the concept of consumption for students in sociology, cultural studies, human geography, history, anthropology, and social psychology.
Introduction: we are all consumers Part I: The Times of Consumption: Modernity 1. How we became consumers: historical theories of consumption 2. You are what you buy: consumption, class, and identity 3. Cathedrals, palaces, and paradises: the sites of consumption Part II: How We Consume Now 4. The counterculture becomes consumer culture: the commodification of youth and rebellion 5. ‘Just do it’: advertising and the power of the brand 6. How they make you buy: retail psychology and the role of the senses 7. Out of the kitchen at last? the gendered politics of consumption 8. Nature, Inc.: the great outdoors, the global within Part III: The Spaces of Consumption: Globalization 9. The world on your plate: food in the age of globalized agri-food networks 10. Globalization and McDonaldization: producing the global consumer 11. Digital consumption: online retail, the social industry, and the new digital worker 12. Enough! the ethics of consumption