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

Concluding Comments: The Affluence Hypothesis Revisited

Concluding comments: The affluence hypothesis revisited

Throughout the foregoing discussion, we have been developing the argument that the primary mechanism by which a shift might be occurring away from production and towards consumption is increasing affluence. We have defined affluence as a capacity for most households in contemporary Western society to participate in levels of consumption which routinely exceed those required for basic survival. In moving out of a situation of survival and into one of prosperity, most individuals are able to express historically unprecedented levels of choice and autonomy in what they consume. Evidence of increasing affluence has been obtained by looking at statistical data on average individual and household earnings, and levels of disposable income. If we define ...

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