The term convenience denotes an idea that increasingly suffuses contemporary consciousness. In January 1998, there were 280,337 different webpages that mentioned convenience, by November 2010; this figure has reached 62.7 million. The rising significance of convenience reflects three key processes in the development of contemporary consumer cultures: the further embedding of individualized orientations toward everyday life; the growing importance of time pressure; and the acceleration of rationalization, calculation, and commodification in personal life.

The term convenience is not a new one, it has been used in English since the fifteenth century, though the early usages are now obsolete and current applications of the term have their origins no earlier than the seventeenth century. Three meanings derive from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first refers ...

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