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Sociology

  • By: Frederick F. Wherry
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Sociologists studying consumer culture have asked (1) how collective ideas influence the consumption patterns of groups, (2) how social ties shape the consumption patterns of individuals and small groups, (3) how ritual-like interactions bolster consumption habits, (4) how the solidarity (consciousness of kind) of groups is maintained through consumption, (5) how consumers are manipulated through marketing and the spatial layout of stores, and (6) how consumer culture corrupts cultural and economic lives (or not). These questions conform to the paradigm of sociology as an interpretive social science concerned with intergroup relations and meaningful encounters.

How Collective Ideas Shape Consumption

Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism reminds social scientists that economic ideas influence consumption and savings practices. To commit oneself to working hard affirmed ...

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