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.

Commodities and Consumers

Commodities and consumers

Amongst the critiques of consumption the condemnation of the commodity form and the process of commoditization has probably been the most influential. The word ‘commoditization’ denotes a particular social construction of things: it is the social process through which things are produced and exchanged as commodities. The commoditization process is often described as enlarging: in fact, there are very few things or services that can never be sold under any circumstances. Even with those ‘priceless’ objects which are not for sale, such as particularly significant art works symbolizing the identity of a museum (such as Leonardo's Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Botticelli's The Birth of Venus in the Uffizi), or sacred relics (from the Turin Shroud to the Black Stone ...

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