This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the issues, concepts and theories through which people have tried to understand consumer culture throughout the modern period, and puts the current state of thinking into a broader context.
Thematically organized, the book shows how the central aspects of consumer culture - such as needs, choice, identity, status, alienation, objects, culture - have been debated within modern theories, from those of earlier thinkers such as Marx and Simmel to contemporary forms of post-structuralism and postmodernism. This approach introduces consumer culture as a subject which - far from being of narrow or recent interest - is intimately tied to the central issues of modern times and modern social thought.
With its reviews of major theorists set within a full account of the development of the subject, this book should be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the many disciplines which now study consumer culture, including communications and cultural studies, anthropology and history.
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231 x 154 mm
9.08 x 6.04 in
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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"A book of unusual clarity combined with careful and considered assessment of the plethora of arguments that have arisen about the fundamental nature of consumption and modernity from the Enlightenment to the present day. This is the best synthesis of the literature on consumption that has yet been produced and an ideal textbook for anyone wishing to teach or to learn about the spectrum of theoretical approaches that have been developed to account for one of the key issues of our time." Daniel Miller, University College London
"An ambitious and interesting review of consumer studies. Slater shows a real talent for exposition across a range of disciplines and approaches. There is much ground to cover and he does it admirably." Sociology
1. Consumer Culture and Modernity.
2. The Freedoms of the Market.
3. Consumption versus 'Culture'.
4. The Culture of Commodities.
5. The Meanings of Things.
6. The Uses of Things.
7. New Times?.