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

The Emergence of Contemporary Consumer Culture

The Emergence of Contemporary Consumer Culture

The Emergence of Contemporary Consumer Culture
Steven Miles

The sociology of consumption perhaps reached something of a zenith in the late 1990s to early 2000s. At least the case for arguing that consumption was worthy of critical sociological investigation in its own right appeared to have, to all intents and purposes, been won. The sociology of consumption was the product of the realization that consumption shapes social relations and social meanings in as fundamental a way as production. It was upon this basis that consumption established itself as a legitimate focus for the sociological imagination, and a whole raft of books, articles and conceptual contributions reflected as much (see for example Edwards, 2000; Miles, 1998; Slater, 1997). In practice the ...

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