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Collective Consumption

Collective consumption draws a distinction between those goods and services provisioned and consumed primarily by individuals and those that require mass provision, most usually through the state, such as public transport and mass education services. The term was developed by Manuel Castells in his 1977 book, The Urban Question, as a critical concept for explaining urban change in the postwar era. Being an essential concept in Marxist urban sociology, the social organization and process of collective consumption is important for understanding urban politics in advanced capitalist societies, contributing to accounts of consumer culture through its recognition that much consumption is collectively provisioned: consumer culture from this perspective is not only a matter of individuals and households purchasing goods and services from markets (e.g., through retail ...

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