In the context of rising consumerism and globalization, books on consumption are numerous. These tend to be firmly rooted in particular disciplines, however sociology, anthropology, business or cultural studies and as a result often present a blinkered view. Charged with the mission of unravelling what consumption means and how it operates, the worlds leading experts were flown to a secluded location in Sweden to 'battle it out'. This pioneering book represents the outcome. Ranging from the 'little black dress' to on-line communities, Elusive Consumption challenges our very understanding of consumerism. How successful is the advertising world in manipulating our buying patterns? Does the global marketplace promote cultural homogeneity or heterogeneity? Is the West really more of a 'consumerist civilization' than other countries? Does the advertising of certain products influence a voters choice of political party? How are products associated and marketed to different genders? These controversial topics and many more are discussed. Covering virtually every aspect of the word 'consumerism', Elusive Consumption provides a state-of-the-art view of the highly commercialized society we inhabit today. Some might have it that consumers are unwitting pawns, completely lacking in agency. Others might argue that consumer choices are empowering and subtly shape production. Richard Wilk, Colin Campbell, John F. Sherry, Richard Elliott, Russell Belk, and Daniel Miller who offers the most persuasive argument in this battle royal?
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors, Introduction, 1. Morals and Metaphors: The Meaning of Consumption, 2. I Shop therefore I Know that I Am: The Metaphysical Basis of Modern Consumerism, 3. Culture, Consumption and Marketing: Retrospect and Prospect, 4. The Human Consequences of Consumer Culture, 5. Multiculturalism in the New World Order: Implications for the Study of Consumer Behaviour, 6. The Little Black Dress is the Solution, but what is the Problem?, 7. Making Up People: Consumption as a Symbolic Vocabulary for the Construction of Identity, 8. Gender, Technologies and Computer-mediated Communications in Consumption-related Online Communities, 9. Dreams of Eden: A Critical Reader-Response Analysis of the Mytho-Ideologies Encoded in Natural Health Advertisements, 10. Is the Modern Consumer a Buridan’s Donkey? Product Packaging and Consumer Choice, 11. Visual Consumption in the Image Economy
Karin M. Ekstrm is Associate Professor, Director and Research Leader at the Centre for Consumer Science, Gothenburg. Helene Brembeck is Associate Professor and Research Leader at the Centre for Consumer Science, Gothenburg.