Historical research, with some notable exceptions, has usually privileged economic and quantitative approaches to consumption analysis rather than the cultural processes implied in consumption. Research into consumption cultures has only emerged since the 1980s and has focused on some fundamental questions. This entry discusses the key aspects of these current developments: the birth of a modern consumer culture that evolved after the breaking up of the “ancient regime of consumption” (i.e., a social regulation of the consumption processes that was based legally on sumptuary laws); the first globalization of consumptions; the analysis of consumption cultures in terms of class, birth, and development of new spaces and premises for consumer within the modern urban environment; mass production/consumption systems; development and the differentiation of consumer cultures in ...

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