Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory is the first work to compile the contributions of the greatest social thinkers in the global conversation about consumption and consumer culture. A prestigious reference work, it offers original chapters by the world's most prominent thought leaders and surveys how the work of historical theorists has influenced and shaped consumption theory, both through history and at the cutting edge of research.
Consumption is at the core of contemporary lifestyles, of political successes and failures and of discussions around sustainability and environmental change. Contemporary consumer culture shapes modern identities, and is the engine of the globalizing capitalist economy. Still, most social theorizations over the last century and a half have addressed production processes rather than consumption processes. This is about to change. Studies of consumption play an increasing role as a topic and a domain of study in marketing, anthropology, sociology and cultural studies.
Currently, there is no single compilation that systematically links scholarly work published by the greatest social thinkers of the last 150 years to the understanding of contemporary consumer society. This book provides a solid framework for understanding the relevance of these canonical authors in social theory to facilitate analysis of consumer culture, and to act as a comprehensive reference point for consumer researchers, doctoral students and practitioners.
1 In search of consumption . . .
Søren Askegaard and Benoît Heilbrunn
PART II Political economy and the quest for value
2 Marx, commodity and consumer culture
A. Fuat Fırat
3 Why bother with Nietzsche?
4 Beyond disenchantment: Weber and the search for legitimacy
5 Karl Polanyi: whence the marketing mind?
PART III Anthropology and consumption
6 Marcel Mauss: the gift that moves . . .
Eric J. Arnould
7 Thick prescription: notes on the influence of Clifford Geertz on CCT
John F. Sherry, Jr.
8 Mary Douglas: consumption codes, meaning structures and classification systems
9 In defense of cultural economy: Marshall Sahlins
Eric J. Arnould
PART IV System and structuration
10 Bronislaw Malinowski, or the elementary material and symbolic forms of production, exchange and consumption
11 Claude Lévi-Strauss and the structural fabric of meaning
12 Talcott Parsons: structural foundations for cultural sociology
13 The relevance of consumption in Niklas Luhmann’s theory of society
Kai-Uwe Hellmann and Marius K. Luedicke
PART V Identity trajectories
14 Mind, self and consumption: George Herbert Mead
15 Sartre’s insights for identity, desire, the gift and posthumanism
16 Paul Ricoeur, vigil of the self
17 Habermas: reigniting enlightenment reason
Jeff B. Murray
PART VI Civilization and history
18 Remembering Walter Benjamin, or the death of the last intellectual
19 Norbert Elias: figurations and consumption
20 Braudel’s notions of time, capitalism and market
PART VII The language of commodities
21 Shopping with Charles Peirce: from sign meaning to sign degeneracy in the marketplace
22 Roland Barthes: the (anti-)structuralist
Luca M. Visconti
23 Jean Baudrillard: the Nietzsche of our times(?)
Per Østergaard (with a little help from his friends)
24 Bruno Latour: philosopher of togetherness in action
PART VIII Power games 197
25 Adorno, Horkheimer and the audacity of reason
Jeff B. Murray
26 Pierre Bourdieu: luminary or elitist? Capital and the project of consumption
27 Producing Foucauldians: consumer culture theory and the analytics of power
28 De Certeau: a thinker of the everyday
Véronique Cova and Nil Özçağlar-Toulouse
29 Judith Butler: gender performativity and heterosexual hegemony
PART IX The imaginary and humanity
30 Freud the scientist?
31 The consumer as sovereign: the general economy of Georges Bataille
32 Edgar Morin: the uniduality of the magical and the real
33 Beyond reductionism, constructivism and arbitrary sampling in consumer research thanks to Castoriadis
34 Ž ižek: a pervert’s guide to the libidinal narcissistic economy
PART X Postscript
35 To ERR is human: on failing to read (and forgetting to remember) the classics