• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This lucid introduction to the sociology of consumerism examines the relationship between production and consumption in late capitalist societies. The historical and theoretical discussion provides the student with the tools to examine key themes in the sociology of consumption. After a detailed historical overview of the advent of consumer society, Peter Corrigan examines theoretical accounts of consumption and consumer practice, including: Veblen and conspicuous consumption; Mary Douglas on the world of goods; Jean Baudrillard on the system of objects; and Pierre Bourdieu on cultural capital. This historical and theoretical discussion provides the student with the tools to examine key themes in the socio

The Home
The home

Our contemporary notions of the home are creations of quite fresh date. In earlier societies, and indeed in early capitalism itself, much production took place at home and there was therefore no real distinction between place of work and domestic sphere. Industrialization, however, constructed them as spatially separate entities and as culturally polar opposites, at least for men. The workplace was the site of public productive life, and the home became the place of private consumption: a ‘haven in a heartless world’, where gentle loving domesticity supposedly reigned.

The objects populating the home world were caught up in the task of maintaining this new home/work distinction – domesticity was designed, and was to nullify all associations with work. Forty (1986) maintains that, over ...

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