You are here

The Politics of Consumption / The Consumption of Politics

The Politics of Consumption / The Consumption of Politics

Edited by:

May 2007 | 267 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

In recent years American and European societies have confronted increasing concerns over the effects of globalization, environmental degradation, and excessive consumption, as well as questions about the ability of civic society to address these concerns. As citizens are pushed to consume more and to celebrate the individual to the detriment of civic engagement, the interplay between consumption, markets, media, politics, and the citizen-consumer remains a complex and provocative topic. Has civil society declined in favor of consumer society?

Can we separate civic culture from consumer culture? Some scholars argue that the rise of political consumerism or lifestyle politics – where socially conscious consumers support or boycott products and corporations in ways that demonstrate their political views – illustrates just how tightly interwoven consumption and civic duty have become. Furthermore, political campaigns as well as social movements and initiatives have become steeped in marketing tactics using branding, staged media events, and market segmentation strategies. What are the effects of socially conscious consumerism on civil society?

In October 2006, an international conference titled "The Politics of Consumption/The Consumption of Politics" drew leading scholars from Europe and North America to discuss these challenging questions and issues. Using theory and research, the conference spurred lively discussion as well as the insightful papers included in this special volume of The ANNALS.

Central themes included in this volume:

  • The relations between consumers, citizens, and the state
  • Consumer and citizen responses to the market
  • The branding of politicians and social movements
  • Political consumerism as a form of activism

Scholars and students will find that while these essays address crucial issues, they also shed light on the levels of complexity of this important topic, serving as a springboard for further research on the politics of consumption.

Drawing from a myriad of disciplines, including political science, sociology, communication, media studies, and economics, this volume is a must-have for scholars, professionals, and policymakers who want to better understand modern consumer society and its implications for the political and civic arena.

Dhavan V. Shah, Douglas M. McLeod, Lewis Friedland, and Michelle R. Nelson
Introduction: The Politics of Consumption / The Consumption of Politics
Juliet B. Schor
In Defense of Consumer Critique: Revisiting the Consumption Debates of the Twentieth Century
Lewis Friedland, Dhavan V. Shah, Nam-Jin Lee, Mark A. Rademacher, Lucy Atkinson, and Thomas Hove
Capital, Consumption, Communication, and Citizenship: The Social Positioning of Taste and Civic Culture in the United States
Sonia Livingstone and Peter Lunt
Representing Citizens and Consumers in Media and Communications Regulation
Matthew Hilton
Consumers and the State since the Second World War
Lizabeth Cohen
Buying into Downtown Revival: The Centrality of Retail to Postwar Urban Renewal in American Cities
Eric J. Arnould
Should Consumer Citizens Escape the Market?
Craig J. Thompson
A Carnivalesque Approach to the Politics of Consumption (or) Grotesque Realism and the Analytics of the Excretory Economy
Russell Belk
Why Not Share Rather Than Own?
Michelle R. Nelson, Mark A. Rademacher, and Hye-Jin Paek
Downshifting Consumer = Upshifting Citizen? An Examination of a Local Freecycle Community
Michele Micheletti and Dietlind Stolle
Mobilizing Consumers to Take Responsibility for Global Social Justice
Margaret Scammell
Political Brands and Consumer Citizens: The Rebranding of Tony Blair
W. Lance Bennett and Taso Lagos
Logo Logic: The Ups and Downs of Branded Political Communication
Claes H. de Vreese
Digital Renaissance: Young Consumer and Citizen?
Dhavan V. Shah, Douglas M. McLeod, Eunkyung Kim, Sun Young Lee, Melissa Gotlieb, Shirley S. Ho, and Hilde Brevik
Political Consumerism: How Communication and Consumption Orientations Drive “Lifestyle Politics”
Michael Schudson
Citizens, Consumers, and the Good Society
Quick Read Synopsis

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412959353