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 4: The Making of the Consumer: Historical and Sociological Perspectives
The Making of the Consumer: Historical and Sociological Perspectives
While economics have, to a large extent, participated in the invention of the consumer as a category of knowledge, the discipline has paid little attention to the conditions of the production of his/her identity. Instead, it has largely assumed that each individual consumer has a set of preferences and values whose determination is outside the realm of economics. By contrast, the social sciences and particularly history, sociology and anthropology have devoted many studies to furthering the understanding of how consumers’ desires, needs, expectations, rather than preferences, develop. While some have focused primarily on individuals’ social group or trajectory to gain insight into how they consume ...