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 23: Objects: From Signs to Design
Objects: From Signs to Design
Consumer culture often deals with products, commodities and goods, and seems to have forgotten objects and things. Objects made or modified by humans are clumped together under the term ‘artifact'. That word connects two words – art and fact – reflecting its double Latin root. The word art derives from ars, artis (skill in joining), and fact derives from factum (deed or act) from facere (to make or to do), emphasizing the utilitarian meaning already implicit in the word art; thus, skill or knowledge is applied to the making of a thing. The term art refers to objects whose primary initial purpose has been to represent, to memorize, to induce veneration, elevation or contemplation, ...