Theories of Consumption  book cover
1st Edition

Theories of Consumption

ISBN 9781138678002
Published January 20, 2017 by Routledge
158 Pages

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Book Description

Theories of Consumption explores the concept of consumption from the post-disciplinary perspective of cultural studies.

John Storey brings together work that up until now has been located in distinct disciplinary spaces including work on reception theory in literary studies and philosophy; work on consumer culture in sociology, anthropology and history; and work on media audiences (both ethnographic and theoretical) in media studies and sociology.

Moving beyond the usual analysis of consumer culture, Storey presents a critical assessment of a range of theoretical approaches to the study of consumption. In doing so, he provides an authoritative overview of a significant selection of research and analysis that has explored consumption as an object of study.

This book provides an ideal introduction to consumption for students of media and cultural studies and will also be useful for students within a number of other disciplines such as sociology, history, anthropology, cultural geography and both literary and visual studies.

Table of Contents




1. Why We Consume

Marx, alienation and consumption

Social emulation

The Romantic ethic


2. Consumption as Manipulation

The Frankfurt School

The Leavisism

The mythologies of Roland Barthes

Problems with the cultural-consumption-as-manipulation model


3. Consumption as Communication

Conspicuous consumption

Consumption as culture

Consumption as class struggle

Consumption as secondary production


4. Consumption as Production


The Constance School

Interpretative communities

Reading formations and paratextuality

5. Media Consumption

The Encoding/Decoding Model

Watching Dallas

Dallas and cultural imperialism


6. Non-Media-Centric Media Consumption

Television talk

Family television

Talking with television


7. Consumption and Identities

We are what we consume

Identities and performativity

Identities and displaced meaning

Thinking consumption and identities historically


8. Consumerism and Consumer Society

Consumption and consumerism

Birth of consumer society


Advertising and the organisation of desire


9. Consumption and Cultural Studies

The determining role of production


Consuming with Gramsci



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John Storey is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, UK. He has published extensively in cultural studies, including 11 books. His work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. He is also on editorial/advisory boards in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the USA, and has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Vienna, Henan and Wuhan and a Senior Fellow at the Technical University of Dresden.