This book makes a significant contribution to cultural economic approaches to organizational and economic life. Specifically it offers both a survey of the field, as well as a practical guide to doing 'cultural economy'. The text, which builds upon du Gay's earlier work, will engage with a range of debates from cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, geography, and management. It brings du Gay's style and originality to bear on the subject of culture and economy, and results in a book that will once more make a solid contribution to cultural studies.

Self-Service: Retail, Shopping and Personhood

Self-service: Retail, shopping and personhood

BP Marketing Men saw one customer read the instructions several times, scratch his head, push a pound note up the nozzle and shout at the pump through cupped hands ‘Four gallons of commercial please.’

(The Times, 17 August 1972, ‘Self-Service Petrol’, p. 23)


This chapter focuses upon a rather different terrain and rather different techniques of person-formation. We shift attention away from the problem of forming civic personae in the context of religious civil war in early modern Europe to a rather different issue: the difficulties facing British retailers as they set about attempting to operationalize a self-servicing persona in the years after the Second World War. In a nutshell, this is the problem. How do you get ...

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