Warde, A. (ed.) (2010) Consumption (Volumes I-IV), London, Sage, Benchmarks in Culture and Society Series.

Consumption is a core issue for all disciplines studying ‘culture and society’. This four-volume set covers such diverse issues as food, environment, and housing in terms of society’s seemingly insatiable lust for consumption.

Volume I includes classic and recent theoretical essays of lasting significance for the discipline and for the critique of consumer behavior, by such influential voices such as Jean Baudrillard and Theodor Adorno. Volume II deals with how people get what they consume. Acquisition involves economic and social processes of exchange (including markets, gifts, and state provision) and the selections in this volume cover the conditions for access and the institutionalized processes for acquisition, including the encouragement to consume, allowing some reference to issues of cultural production. Volume III draws from anthropology, sociology and cultural studies to expound on the central idea of appropriation, capturing the importance of people ‘domesticating’ mass - produced and alien products, converting them into items with personal meanings and using and appreciating them for their own purposes. Volume IV unpacks the frameworks of understanding acceptable conduct grounded in moral and social judgments of symbolic value. Such phenomena are part of the process of appreciation, which is partly a matter of pleasure and satisfaction, partly related to the meanings derived from their aesthetic representation, and partly entailed in judgments about desirability and quality.

Volume 1: The shaping of the field
Volume 2: Acquisition
Volume 3: Appropriation
Volume 4: Appreciation

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