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Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel & Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier

In: The SAGE Handbook of Consumer Culture

Chapter 4: The Making of the Consumer: Historical and Sociological Perspectives

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The Making of the Consumer: Historical and Sociological Perspectives
The Making of the Consumer: Historical and Sociological Perspectives
Marie-Emmanuelle ChesselSophie Dubuisson-Quellier

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 ...

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