Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (Published in association by Mike Featherstone

By Mike Featherstone

For the final variation, Prof. Featherstone additional a brand new preface and a brand new final bankruptcy. those new additions are relatively powerful and make the booklet up-to-date for present debates. One won't locate fancy theoretical innovations to target however the writer emphatically issues out a sociological figuring out of postmodernism. In that feel, it really works. The reader is instructed to consider the sociological validity of postmodern theories. due to the fact that lots of the chapters have been written no less than 15 years in the past, the literature seems outdated however the dialogue continues to be modern and as i acknowledged at the start the writer informs us concerning the contemporary literature at the box in his additions for the final edition...

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Additional resources for Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society)

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Here we can turn to the work of Bourdieu (1984) and Douglas and Isherwood (1980) who examine the ways goods are used to mark social differences and act as communicators. Douglas and Isherwood’s (1980) work is particularly important in this respect because of their emphasis on the way in which goods are used to draw the lines of social relationships. Our enjoyment of goods, they argue, is only partly related to their physical consumption, being also crucially linked to their use as markers; we enjoy, for example, sharing the names of goods with others (the sports fan or the wine connoisseur).

Lyotard’s invocation of a postmodern mood or state of mind points us towards a second meaning of modernity–postmodernity. The French use of modernité points to the experience of modernity in which modernity is viewed as a quality of modern life inducing a sense of the discontinuity of time, the break with tradition, the feeling of novelty and sensitivity to the ephemeral, fleeting and contingent nature of the present (see Frisby, 1985a). This is the sense of being modern associated with Baudelaire which, as Foucault (1986: 40) argues, entails an ironical heroicization of the present: the modern man is the man who constantly tries to invent himself.

Jameson’s conception of postmodern culture is strongly influenced by Baudrillard’s work (see Jameson, 1979). He also sees postmodern culture as the culture of the consumer society, the post-World War II stage of late capitalism. In this society culture is given a new significance through the saturation of signs and messages to the extent that ‘everything in social life can be said to have become cultural’ (Jameson, 1984a: 87). This ‘liquefaction of signs and images’ is also held to entail an effacement of the distinction between high and mass culture (Jameson, 1984b: 112): an acceptance of the equal validity of Las Vegas Strip pop culture, alongside ‘serious’ high culture.

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