Exploring the expression of taste through the processes of consumption this book provides an incisive and accessible evaluation of the current theories of consumption, and trends in the representation and purchase of food. Alan Warde outlines various theories of change in the twentieth century, and considers the parallels between their diagnoses of consumer behaviour and actual trends in food practices. He argues that dilemmas of modern practical life and certain imperatives of the culture of consumption make sense of food selection. He suggests that contemporary consumption is best viewed as a process of continual selection among an unprecedented range of generally accessible items which are made available both commerciall

Economy and Extravagance

Economy and extravagance

Material Resources

One of the major contributions of the sociology of consumer culture has been to indicate the limits of approaches to consumption offered by neoclassical economics, which explains demand primarily as a simple relationship between the income of consumers, the price of goods and a universal desire to maximize utility. Consumption decisions are directed by concern with the symbolic meanings of goods, and indeed of different brands of goods performing identical practical functions, in addition to any consideration of cost. The sociological elaboration of this has, typically, been concerned with the processes of distinction, and thereby of exclusion, involved in the social interpretation of consumption. An impression of social superiority, as Veblen argued, can partly be achieved simply through the ...

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