The question of consumption emerged as a major focus of research and scholarship in the 1990s but the breadth and diversity of consumer culture has not been fully enough explored. The meanings of consumption, particularly in relation to lifestyle and identity, are of great importance to academic areas including business studies, sociology, cultural and media studies, psychology, geography and politics. The SAGE Handbook of Consumer Culture is a one-stop resource for scholars and students of consumption, where the key dimensions of consumer culture are critically discussed and articulated. The editors have organised contributions from a global and interdisciplinary team of scholars into six key sections: Part 1: Sociology of Consumption Part 2: Geographies of Consumer Culture Part 3: Consumer Culture Studies in Marketing Part 4: Consumer Culture in Media and Cultural Studies Part 5: Material Cultures of Consumption Part 6: The Politics of Consumer Culture
Chapter 1: Introduction
The question of consumer culture emerged as a major focus of research in the 1990s, partly in response to the Conservative governments of the 1980s’ political emphasis on consumption and the resurging critique of consumerism. Titles such as The Consumer Society (Baudrillard, 1998), Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (Featherstone, 1998), The World of Consumption (Fine and Leopold, 1993), Consumer Culture (Lury, 1996) and Consumer Culture and Modernity (Slater, 1997) are among the recognised classics that defined the contours of the subject. Consumer culture has now established itself as a core concern across the social sciences, the humanities and business studies. In such a rich and contested cross-disciplinary arena, there is no one accepted definition of what the term ‘consumer culture’ ...