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
Chapter 4: Consumption-Based Society
If the analysis put forward in the previous chapters is substantially correct, then the proposition that work-based society is being displaced by something we wish to call consumption-based society ultimately depends on whether significant changes are taking place in the rationalities which underpin the kinds of activities which are typical of work-based society. In trying to distinguish a work-based from a consumption-based social type, we need to specify with reasonable precision what the differences are between acts of production and acts of consumption. How do these two kinds of activities and their underlying rationalities differ one from the other?
Relations of Production and Consumption
We will consider the types of activities associated with consumption, the extent to which people engage in them, and whether ...