This lucid and comprehensive introduction to the sociology of consumerism critically examines the relation between production and consumption in late capitalist societies.
The Sociology of Consumption begins with a detailed historical overview of the coming of consumer society, examining the diverse literatureùfrom McCracken to Campbellùthat relates patters of consumption to politics, economics, and the culture of "self-satisfaction." Peter Corrigan then examines theoretical accounts of consumption and consuimer practices. Beginning with Veblen and conspicuous consumption, he provides detailed explanations of the often baffling work of, among others, Jean Baudrillard on the system of objects and Pierre Bourdieu on distinction and cultural capital.
These historical and theoretical discussions provide the student with the tools required to examine key themes in the sociology of consumption. These themes include: the "shopping experience" from the department store to the shopping mall, the modern to the postmodern; advertising and print media and their relation to gender and identity; food and the "civilizing process"; the tourist gaze and the Heritage Industry; and the grammar of fashion.
Illustrated throughout with examples and figures, The Sociology of Consumption will be essential reading for students of sociology and cultural studies.