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(see also Capitalism; Postmodernism)

Closely associated with the development of forms of consumer capitalism (the consumer society), the issue of consumption became an important area of sociological analysis during the 1960s (Burns, 1966). However, it is in the last decades of the twentieth century that consumption becomes a dominant ideological, political and sociological paradigm. Increasingly, social scientists, politicians and policy makers have begun to look at and understand consumption as the prime sphere or realm where, as individuals and as groups, we form identities and understand the society that we live in. This has in part been a consequence of the increasing influence of postmodern theory. Postmodern theorists have suggested that, certainly since the Second World War, Western capitalism has shifted its central organisational locus ...

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