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

Subject/Object Relations and Consumer Culture

Subject/Object Relations and Consumer Culture
Shona Bettany

Introduction: the ubiquity of subject/object relations

It is possible to argue that all work on consumer culture deals explicitly or (more often) implicitly with subject/object relations. This chapter therefore moves between the implicit and explicit to render an understanding of the vista of theoretical underpinnings around subject/object relations and consumer culture. The chapter begins with studies of consumer culture and qualitative and interpretive culturally-oriented consumer research and examines their implicit underpinnings, and the political/ideological assumptions of the nature of subject/object relations that endures even in work that purports to challenge these assumptions, using three exemplar texts to illustrate the arguments made. The chapter then moves outwards into the broader disciplines that concern themselves with consumer ...

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