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Emotions

To study consumer culture means to study emotions. If we simply assume the existence of eight basic emotions, such as fear, anger, joy, sadness, acceptance, disgust, expectation, and surprise, we will see immediately that each act and experience of consumption will presuppose or trigger at least one of these. Joy will or should be a permanent companion of consumption; sadness might arise if we are disappointed by the act. If we add shame to this list, we gain insight into a central aspect of consumption, namely, its social character and the effect that consuming has on respect and self-respect. It was a development within American sociology that led to the formulation and formation of an explicit sociology of emotions, but it has since then also ...

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