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As a Way of Life

  • Steven Miles - University of Brighton, UK, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

August 1998 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book provides an introduction to the historical and theoretical foundations of consumerism. It then moves on to examine the experience of consumption in the areas of space and place, technology, fashion, `popular' music and sport. Throughout, the author brings a critical perspective to bear upon the subject, thus providing a reliable and stimulating guide to a complex and many-sided field.

Consumerism Then and Now
Consumerism in Context
Design for Life or Consumption Designed?
Consuming Space, Consuming Place
Consuming Technology
Consuming Fashion
Consuming Popular Music
Consuming Sport
The Consuming Paradox

`This book is useful because of its clear layout and accessible use of language. It provides a short history of consumerism, an overview of theoretical approaches and the argument that we live in a designer society. It then covers a series of case studies: spatial organization of city, consumption of technologies, fashion, popular music and sport' - The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

`Miles's study [is] an important contribution to our understanding of the contemporary human condition…. the value of the book is in its character of a well-informed and informative, not unduly partisan, comprehensive "state of the art" survey of topics and issues raised and discussed by the researchers and analysts of life in the society of consumers. Students and researchers alike will find it useful as a reference book and an excellent starting point for their own exploration. But "ordinary consumers" could gain as well from pursuing Miles's study. They would learn a lot about the springs that set them in motion while staying themselves in hiding. Combining these two characteristics (and so two uses and two circles of readership) is what all sociological books strive to achieve, but not many do' - Zygmunt Bauman

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