• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The last decade has witnessed a clear and steady rise of interest in consumer culture. Many commentators now argue that consumption rather than production is the axis of personal identity and meaningful social action - a standpoint that reverses the traditional view that consumption is an incidental, trivial feature in contemporary culture. This shrewd and probing book seeks to theorize shopping as an autonomous realm. It avoids the reductionist characteristics of economics and marketing. At the same time it avoids the moralizing tone of many contemporary discussions of shopping and consumption. The book uses an interdisciplinary resource base and comparative data to build-up a convincing analysis of the meaning of shopping

In Defence of Shopping
In defence of shopping
MaryDouglas
Shopping

This is a defence of shopping. Particularly, it is a defence of women's shopping, of the time they take over it, and the amount of money they spend on it. It is meant to rebut the ideas that men have about shopping as an activity and to indict a consumer theory that demeans consumer choice. To make the counter-attack I will mention some well-known weaknesses of consumer theory, which is, after all, a one-sided theoretical approach to shopping with crashingly obvious limitations.

Economics and market research are good at explaining the influence of the market on consumers' choices. The basis for that achievement was laid in the nineteenth century with the theory of utility. But nowadays the really difficult ...

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