Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory  book cover
1st Edition

Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory

ISBN 9781138648975
Published January 31, 2018 by Routledge
310 Pages

USD $64.95

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Book Description

Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory is the first reference work to compile the contributions of the greatest social thinkers to the global conversation about consumption and consumer culture. A prestige reference work, it offers original chapters by the world's most prominent thought leaders. It introduces the works of historical theorists and surveys how their work has influenced and shaped consumption theory, both through history and at the cutting edge of research.

Consumption is at core of contemporary lifestyles, of political successes and failures, and with discussions of sustainability and environmental change. Contemporary consumer culture shapes modern identities, and is the engine of the globalizing capitalist economy. Still, the majority of social theorizations over the last century and a half have been addressing 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 century and a half 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.

Table of Contents


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?

James Fitchett

4 Beyond disenchantment: Weber and the search for legitimacy

Melanie Wallendorf

5 Karl Polanyi: whence the marketing mind?

Dannie Kjeldgaard

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

Ian Woodward

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

Dominique Desjeux

11 Claude Lévi-Strauss and the structural fabric of meaning

Benoît Heilbrunn

12 Talcott Parsons: structural foundations for cultural sociology

Melanie Wallendorf

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

Cele Otnes

15 Sartre’s insights for identity, desire, the gift and posthumanism

Russell Belk

16 Paul Ricoeur, vigil of the self

Benoît Heilbrunn

17 Habermas: reigniting enlightenment reason

Jeff B. Murray

PART VI Civilization and history

18 Remembering Walter Benjamin, or the death of the last intellectual 

Robert Kozinets

19 Norbert Elias: figur

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Soren Askegaard is Professor of Marketing and Managment at the University of Southern Denmark.

Benoit Heinbrunn is Associate Professor of Marketing at ESCP Europe, France.