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
Chapter 9: Tourism
Unlike the pilgrimages of medieval Europe or the aristocratic Grand Tour of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, tourism today is a mass activity. Tourists, as Henry James once remarked, are ‘vulgar, vulgar, vulgar’ (Urry, 1990: v): practically anyone can be a tourist, much to the distaste of an elite which considered that it and it alone was sufficiently educated to appreciate the joys of travel. ‘I am a traveller, you are a tourist, he is a tripper’ (Keith Waterhouse, quoted by Urry, 1990: v) neatly characterizes the elite view of upper-, middle- and lower-class excursionary practices.
It has been argued, however, that rigid divisions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture have been eaten away in contemporary societies and that more and more objects and events have ...