Contradictions of consumption: concepts, practices, and politics in consumer society
"A critical introduction to the field that manages to be both considered and argumentative, and stands out distinctly from the more 'culturalist' alternatives available . . . it should provide a strong text for undergraduate courses." Don Slater, Goldsmiths College, University of London* How has consumer society developed?* What are the social divisions, politics and policies associated with consumption?* How do consumer practices have social significance?This lively and accessible text shows how consumption is increasingly important in dominating our individual lives and indeed the entire development and direction of contemporary society, nationally and internationally. Consumption is inherently contradictory in its nature and meaning. The most rapturous form of shopping, for example clothes purchasing on unlimited plastic in a shopping mall, may turn into the most tortuous as the shopper tires, the clothes don't fit, and the car park is cramped. Tim Edwards argues that the practice of consumption itself and consumer society more widely is often socially divisive and iniquitous, and examines the extent to which consumer power is real or illusory. He provides a thorough analysis and critique of the theories, practices and politics of consumer society. In particular, this book addresses the social divisions of consumption through topics such as fashion, advertising and marketing, as well as more classical and contemporary theories of consumer society. It will appeal to a wide range of students in sociology, cultural studies, social policy and the politics of identity.