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Consumer Culture

Consumer Culture

Celia Lury

ISBN: 978-0-745-64330-4

May 2011, Polity

284 pages

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The second edition of Consumer Culture brings this successful introductory textbook right up-to-date for students who are interested in the nature and role of consumption in modern societies. It introduces the importance of new object-based studies for consumer culture, as well as adding new chapters on branding and the rise of ethical consumption.

Drawing on a wide range of studies, and using contemporary illustrations from the media and popular culture, the author examines the rise of consumer culture and the changing relations between the production and consumption of cultural goods. She argues that consumer culture has become increasingly stylized and now provides an important context for everyday creativity.

The author explores the way an individual’s position in social groups structured by class, gender, race and age affects the nature of his or her participation in consumer culture. She also argues that this has contributed to changes in the way in which individuals belong to these social groups. The powerful role consumption plays in our lives is thus revealed as consumer culture is seen to provide new ways of creating social and political identities.
Introduction: What is consumer culture?
Chapter 1 Material Culture and Consumer Culture
Chapter 2 Exchanging things: the economy and culture
Chapter 3 Objects, subjects and signs
Chapter 4 Capital, class and consumer culture
Chapter 5 Circuits of culture: gender, race and reflexivity
Chapter 6 Brands: markets, media and movement
Chapter 7 Consuming ethics, or What goes around, comes around
Chapter 8 Consumer Culture, Identity and Politics: when are you (not) a consumer?
- Updated throughout to include the latest theorizing and scholarly work in this area, as well as updating all the references to popular culture (e.g. with the inclusion of new illustrative material and extracts from magazines, novels, etc.)
- New chapters on: the mediation and role of the economy in consumer culture; brands; ethical consumption

"In a now vast literature Celia Lury's new edition stands out for its clarity and critical intelligence. In addition to offering a a guide through the thicket of new and old approaches, this book provides readers with a map to explore how consumption shapes personal and group identities."
Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck College

  • Second edition of a popular and lively introduction to the nature and role of consumption in modern societies.
  • Includes new chapters on branding and the rise of ethical consumption.
  • Reveals the central role consumer culture plays in providing new ways of creating social and political identities.
  • Clearly written, well illustrated contribution to a topic of growing importance in media and cultural studies, and the sociology of culture.