Culture and Consumption: New Approaches to the Symbolic Character of Consumer Goods and Activities

Overview

"This book compiles and integrates highly innovative work aimed at bridging the fields of anthropology and consumer behavior." —Journal of Consumer Affairs

"... fascinating... ambitious and interesting... " —Canadian Advertising Foundation Newsletter

"... an anthropological dig into consumerism brimming with original thought... " —The Globe and Mail

"Grant McCracken has written a provocative book that puts consumerism in its place in Western society—at the centre." —Report on Business Magazine

"... a stimulating addition to knowledge and theory

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Overview

"This book compiles and integrates highly innovative work aimed at bridging the fields of anthropology and consumer behavior." —Journal of Consumer Affairs

"... fascinating... ambitious and interesting... " —Canadian Advertising Foundation Newsletter

"... an anthropological dig into consumerism brimming with original thought... " —The Globe and Mail

"Grant McCracken has written a provocative book that puts consumerism in its place in Western society—at the centre." —Report on Business Magazine

"... a stimulating addition to knowledge and theory about the interrelationship of culture and consumption." —Choice

"[McCracken's] synthesis of anthropological and consumer studies material will give historians new ideas and methods to integrate into their thinking." —Maryland Historian

"The book offers a fresh and much needed cultural interpretation of consumption." —Journal of Consumer Policy

"The volume will help balance the prevailing cognitive and social psychological cast of consumer research and should stimulate more comprehensive investigation into consumer behavior." —Journal of Marketing Research

"... broad scope, enthusiasm and imagination... a significant contribution to the literature on consumption history, consumer behavior, and American material culture." —Winterhur Portfolio

"For this is a superb book, a definitive exploration of its subject that makes use of the full range of available literature." —American Journal of Sociology

"McCracken's book is a fine synthesis of a new current of thought that strives to create an interdisciplinary social science of consumption behaviors, a current to which folklorists have much to contribute." —Journal of American Folklore

This provocative book takes a refreshing new view of the culture of consumption. McCracken examines the interplay of culture and consumer behavior from the anthropologist's point of view and provides new insights into the way we view ourselves and our society.

Indiana University Press

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What People Are Saying

William Leiss
Superb . . . a definitive exploration of its subject.
Kenneth L. Ames
Imaginative, provocative . . . synthetic and innovative . . . a model of interdisciplinary scholarship.
Russell W. Belk
The first book of original theory [on] consumption . . . offers a fresh and much-needed cultural interpretation.
John Jr. Sherry
A material and stylistic delight.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253206282
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1990
  • Series: Midland Bks.
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Grant McCracken is a member of The MIT Laboratory for Branding Cultures and a visiting scholar at McGill University and author of several books.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I. History

One. The Making of Modern Consumption
Two. "Ever Dearer in Our Thoughts": Patina and the Representation of Status before and after the Eighteenth Century
Three. Lois Roget: Curatorial Consumer in a Modern World

Part II. Theory
Four. Clothing as Language: An Object Lesson in the Study of the Expressive Properties of Material Culture
Five. Meaning Manufacture and Movement in the World of Goods

Part III. Practice

Six. Consumer Goods, Gender Construction, and a Rehabilitated Trickle-down Theory
Seven. The Evocative Power of Things: Consumer Goods and the Preservation of Hopes and Ideals
Eight. Diderot Unitites and the Diderot Effect: Neglected Cultural Aspects of Consumption
Nine. Consumption, Change, and Continuity

Notes
References
Index

Indiana University Press

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