Elusive Consumption by Karin M. Ekström, Helene Brembeck

By Karin M. Ekström, Helene Brembeck

Within the context of emerging consumerism and globalization, books on intake are quite a few. those are usually firmly rooted specifically disciplines, however--sociology, anthropology, enterprise or cultural studies--and hence frequently current a constrained view. Charged with the venture of unraveling what intake ability and the way it operates, the world's major specialists have been flown to a personal place in Sweden to ''battle it out.'' This pioneering ebook represents the result. starting from the ''little black dress'' to kid's desktop video games, Elusive intake demanding situations our very figuring out of consumerism and offers a state of the art view of the hugely commercialized society we inhabit at the present time. a few may have it that customers are unwitting pawns, thoroughly missing in organization. Others may perhaps argue that purchaser offerings are empowering and subtly form construction. Richard Wilk, Colin Campbell, John F. Sherry, Richard Elliott, Russell Belk, and Daniel Miller--who deals the main persuasive argument during this conflict royal?

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They should be obsessed with wealth and goods they can’t have, and given some money they are likely to lose control and splurge with no thought for the consequences. This explains the extremely close supervision placed on those in poverty who are given foodstamps as a form of assistance, but who are bound by all sorts of rules about what kinds of things they can purchase with them (despite abundant evidence that poverty and hunger are far from the same thing). Similarly, our Consuming is Eating metaphor leads us to a simple explanation for poverty – poor hunting skills (see Chin 2001).

Obviously I don’t mean by this that people regularly hit out at irritating shop assistants, or for that matter routinely hug the kind and helpful ones. What I mean is that in selecting and purchasing products that we want (not ones we ‘need’) we are directly acting out our feelings – and hence throwing off unhelpful restraints – in just the same basic fashion as in the selfconsciously constructed therapeutic contexts. Certainly shopping does indeed commonly (although obviously not always) resemble therapy as New Agers understand that term (see Button & Bloom 1992: 131–46; Heelas 1996, ch.

Hence the importance of fashion – as a mechanism for the regular and controlled introduction of ‘new’ products – as well as the fact that consumers may indeed be tempted to make significant changes to their ‘identity’ on a regular basis. These changes should not be seen, however, as indicating that earlier attempts to establish the ‘real’ or ‘true’ nature of the self had failed. On the contrary, since the desires and preferences that defined that identity were experienced intensely at the time this ‘proves’ that it was ‘real’, just as the intensity attached to the new desires similarly demonstrates the authenticity of the novel ‘replacement’ self.

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