Consumer Culture

Consumer culture is a concept that defines our contemporary societies by highlighting the importance of consumption as a dominant social ethos—that is, as a system of dispositions that orients and structures actors’ conduct and thus shapes relations to the self, others, community, society, and the world. It is intimately linked to the concept of consumerism, which emphasizes the ideological, normative, and encompassing dimensions that are constitutive of consumption in industrial and postindustrial economies. The concept posits the novelty and distinctive nature of modern consumption. Although modern consumption emerged in the West, the last wave of globalization has extended the penetration of consumerism to virtually all non-Western societies, and to an increasing spectrum of social classes, to the extent that the concept of consumer culture is ...

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