Showing the cultural and institutional processes that have brought the notion of the ‘consumer’ to life, this book guides the reader on a comprehensive journey through the history of how we have come to understand ourselves as consumers in a consumer society and reveals the profound ambiguities and ambivalences inherent within. Rooted in sociology, Roberta Sassatelli also draws on history, anthropology, geography, and economics to give an exemplary introduction to the history and theory of consumer culture.

Theories of Consumer Agency
Theories of consumer agency

In order to understand contemporary cultures and practices of consumption it is crucial to bring into focus the way in which social actors define, perceive and govern their relationship with commodities. As we have seen, from the beginnings of modernity people have progressively learned to satisfy their needs through commodities; they have thus become more capable and willing to act not only as producers but also as consumers, purchasing goods on the market at their discretion, combining them with other objects in everyday practices. But how do these actors behave when they act as consumers? How do they make sense of what they do? What kind of action is consumption? Such questions have accompanied the development of social ...

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