Geographies of commodities and consumption
DOI link for Geographies of commodities and consumption
Geographies of commodities and consumption book
Until recently most geographical work on consumption was limited to accounts of retailing and distribution patterns. Recently geographers have begun to see consumption as far more than this. First, there has been a reconsideration of the spaces where goods and services are sold. Second, geographers have begun study the symbolic cartographies such goods and services might form. Finally, consumption is seen as including the use of goods - not merely their purchase. Put together this has meant a shift from a narrow economism, which reduced consumption to its financial bones, and a move to see consumption as extending beyond the point of purchase - see the text in this series on Economic Geography. This chapter will thus suggest consumption has its own geographies that cannot be seen as subordinate to or dependent upon those of production (see Chapter 9). So this chapter will first look to the contexts of selling - the spaces created by society in order to sell us things. This will mean considering the traditional market, the spaces of industrialised consumption in the great cities at the tum of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the suburban spaces for selling in shopping malls and the turning of city centres into arenas of consumption. It will then be useful to look at the symbolic geographies of commodities themselves. This will explore how goods relate to each other, their producers and what they mean to their consumers. Finally the chapter will conclude by looking to how consumption extends onwards into the use of goods and into the home.