The central question in Work, Consumption and Culture is whether consumption has now displaced production as the defining factor in the lives of those in the industrialized West. This book offers a comprehensive review of the key issues in the production/consumption debate, and where it might lead in the future. Key to Paul Ransome’s argument is the hypothesis that affluence is the crucial factor in the shift away from work and towards consumption. Uniquely emphasizing the links between work, consumption and culture, rather than keeping each element separate, the author looks at:- the changing significance of work in society - the meaning, growth and significance of affluence - the growing importance of consumption as a source of identity and its implications the impact of the shift to consumption on work/life balance Work, Consumption and Culture engages the reader with its lively debating style. It is an essential introduction for sociology and cultural studies students on courses relating to consumption and the role of work in contemporary society.`This book offers a balanced account of the changing importance of work and consumption in contemporary industrial society. Clearly written, the author identifies the central role that affluence plays in the relationship between work and consumption, and in the development of social life and individual identity' - Professor Paul Blyton, Cardiff Business School

Introduction: The Affluence Hypothesis

Introduction: The affluence hypothesis

The key elements in this book are work, consumption and culture. The purpose is to look again at the increasingly popular idea that the lives of people now living in the industrialised West are determined much more by the way they consume things than by how they produce them. That consumption has displaced production as the leading factor in shaping the kind of society people are now living in.

So why would it matter if the realm of consumption had displaced the realm of production or work as the dominant realm of activity from which people construct their lives and why might such a change be of interest to sociologists? The short answer is that since the production side ...

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