consumer culture


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consumer culture

  1. the orientation in modern capitalist societies to the marketing and consumption of goods and services.
  2. the ‘status differentiated’ and ‘market segmented’ culture of modern societies, in which individual tastes not only reflect the social locations (age, gender, occupation, ethnicity, etc), but also the social values and individual LIFESTYLES, of consumers.
Whereas previously sociology has tended to regard consumer culture as manipulative and stage-managed, it is today evident that neither a model of cultural manipulation nor a model of individual ‘consumer sovereignty’, as preferred by economists, alone adequately describes the processes involved. As indicated by Featherstone (1990), in modern capitalist consumer societies, consumption:
  1. is continuously encouraged in order for production to occur, and to provide inducement to work;
  2. has become a significant source of status differentiation for all social groups;
  3. is a major source of our pleasures, and our dreams.

All three of these aspects of consumer culture must be seen as involving complex, sometimes contradictory, relations. On the one hand, new manipulations of wants undoubtedly occur, e.g. as with elements of the fictitious ‘nostalgia’ and ‘PASTICHE’ generated in association with tourism and the new ‘heritage’ industry (see Rojek, 1993). On the other hand – as suggested, for example, by theories of POST-FORDISM -production is increasingly oriented to specialist needs, allowing greater cultural variety and greater individual choice and self-expression. Thus the new interest in consumer culture has brought ‘cultural questions to the fore’ and is seeking to move beyond the merely negative evaluation of consumer pleasures associated with previous theories of MASS CULTURE. See also ADVERTISING, BAUDRILLARD, POSTMODERNISM.

References in periodicals archive ?
In chapter 6, Li examines how underdeveloped regulation of Chinese advertising, immoral media and business practices, and rapidly changing consumer cultures have created and influenced controversial advertising.
Collisions are inevitably taking place between modern consumption culture, coming from the west, based on a stronger sense of individual identity, and China's traditional consumer culture, which follows Confucian and collectivist models of lack of self-display (Zou and Wang 14).
The development of a susceptibility construct for global consumer culture makes possible the identification of markets where consumers may be more likely to purchase and consume global brands.
Bunker's discussion of department stores best supports his overall argument that Mexico's political and economic elites considered a broad based consumer culture essential to furthering national development and modernization.
Iskin's work is focused in part on the role of "modern women" in consumer culture and impressionism, and ber investigation offers a nuanced perspective of late nineteenth-century representations of femininity by displacing the binaristic structure of "male gaze" upon female object.
[4] Fight Club bases its social critique on the premise that a feminizing consumer culture destroys authenticity.
Historians have not integrated Luce and his publishing empire into studies of business and the consumer culture. Most of the works on Luce and Time Inc.
She writes, "Radical Homemakers nationwide speak about empowerment, transformation, happiness, and casting aside the pressures of a consumer culture to live in a world where money loses its power to relationships, independent thought, and creativity." If you ever considered quitting a job to plant tomatoes, read to a child, pursue creative work, can green beans, and heal the planet, this is your book.
While children across divergent race and class backgrounds may want a lot of the same stuff, their relationship to consumer culture is highly structured by their parents' access to income and cultural capital.
Davis's Commerce in Color: Race, Consumer Culture, and American Literature, 1893-1933 is another book that has its impact on these fields in terms of the relationships between race and economy.
Any collection strong in regional American tourism, food, and in Southern culture will relish DIXIE EMPORIUM: TOURISM, FOODWAYS, AND CONSUMER CULTURE IN THE AMERICA SOUTH.

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