Full Text

Consumption, Mass Consumption, and Consumer Culture

Russell W. Belk

Subject Cultural Studies
Sociology » Consumption, Sociological and Social Theory

People Frankfurt School

Key-Topics capitalism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

Consumption, mass consumption, and consumer culture are a growing focus in contemporary life as well as in social science theory and research. Daniel Miller (1995) even suggests that consumption is replacing kinship as the central theme in anthropology. Consumption is the most basic of these concepts, but not the least contentious. From the Latin consumere , to take up, consumption means to acquire. But other meanings include using up, burning, wasting, and decaying. In the first case consumption adds; in the others it subtracts. In current practice, the term may refer either to using an object or to both acquiring and using it. In the broader usage, consumption also includes such supporting activities as attending advertising, shopping retail displays, interacting with salespeople, engaging in word of mouth, and searching online for a good or service. This more common view holds that consumption consists of activities potentially leading to and actually following from the acquisition of a good or service by those engaging in such activities . Tangible goods can be acquired and stored for future consumption, but most services, including surgery, stage plays, and haircuts, must be acquired and used simultaneously. The prototype of current consumption involves searching for, purchasing, and subsequently using a branded product. But we can also acquire goods and services by receiving ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top