The realms of consumption have typically been seen to be distinct from those of work and production. This book examines how contemporary rhetorics and discourses of organizational change are breaking down such distinctions - with significant implications for the construction of subjectivities and identities at work. In particular, Paul du Gay shows how the capacities and predispositions required of consumers and those required of employees are increasingly difficult to distinguish. Both consumers and employees are represented as autonomous, responsible, calculating individuals. They are constituted as such in the language of consumer cultures and the all-pervasive discourses of enterprise whereby persons are required to be

Retailing and the De-Differentiation of Economy and Culture

Retailing and the de-differentiation of economy and culture

As the 1980s drew to a close a plethora of retrospective articles and programmes appeared in the media analysing, panning and celebrating perceived key moments and transitions in collective British life during the previous decade. A common theme in both business (The Money Programme, 7 January 1990) and cultural (The Late Show, 15 September 1989) programming of this type was the representation of Britain's ‘retail revolution’ as one of the most significant social phenomena of the age. The ubiquitous presence of retail, it was argued, extended well beyond the simple proliferation of shops and shopping centres. Retail had, in an important sense, become the defining motif of the decade, ‘an approach, ...

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