A consumer transaction involves the purchase of goods or services for personal, family, or household use. Recent approaches to consumption have suggested that the apparent simplicity of the consumer transaction is deceptive. These everyday transactions are embedded in complex economic, social, cultural, and legal formations. The formations are highly dynamic, with emerging new modes of consumption (credit cards), new places of consumption (shopping malls), new timespace relations (Internet), and new governance (World Trade Organization). Every consumer purchase involves us in a complex chain of events that has far-reaching and unintended effects. We are only beginning to realize the extent to which these mundane transactions have transformed our world. Scholars now see consumer transactions as one of the primary driving forces behind globalization, and many people ...

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