Consuming People : From Political Economy to Theatres of Consumption
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Consumption is widely regarded as one of the most important phenomena in contemporary society, but there has been very little analysis of how consumption patterns evolve, transform and proliferate. Consuming People provides an incisive treatment of consumption on a global scale from a cultural, philosophical and business perspective. Beginning with an analysis of how a dominant form of consumption pattern took hold in modern, capitalist, market economies, Consuming People explores the contemporary changes and paradoxes in our consumption patterns during the transitional period from the modern to the postmodern. The text focuses, in particular, on the forces shaping American consumption patterns, from corporations to Hollywood. The authors argue that as modernity wanes, consumption is replacing production as the fundamental process in the economy and society. Consumption exhibits multifarious postmodern tendencies but, paradoxically, the shaping of consumption patterns continues under an expanding hegemony of the market which is a quintessentially modern institution. The text concludes with an analysis of the emerging trans-modern possibilities of the new 'theatre of consumption' where communities with a variety of consumption styles will flourish.