Introduction : politics

Jafari, Aliakbar and Hamilton, Kathleen and Hewer, Paul (2015) Introduction : politics. In: New Directions in Consumer Research. Sage Publications Ltd, London, vii-xvi. ISBN 9781473911536

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    Abstract

    This volume establishes a link between politics and consumption. Understanding the multifaceted relationship between these two is becoming increasingly important in different areas of scholarship such as marketing and consumer research, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, political science, economics, and urban and environmental studies. One of the main reasons for such convergence amongst these disciplines is that in the age of neoliberal political economy, consumption, taken either literally or metaphorically (Askegaard, 2014), is generally seen as a prominent feature of modern society (McCracken, 1988; Gauthier and Martikainen, 2013). Once conceptualised as the ‘using up’ of material goods, and hence subordinated to production as a means of driving the economic engine of society (e.g., in the Marxist tradition), consumption is now broadly viewed as a cultural practice, a mode of being and an active process of creating meanings, self-images, self-identities, symbols, and values (Baudrillard, 1981; Firat and Venkatesh, 1995). It is not solely a private act; it is also a social activity in which consumer culture avails individuals with the means to actively articulate and negotiate their identities, values, meanings, and life goals with(in) their social settings (Featherstone, 1991; Murray, 2002; Arnould and Thompson, 2005; 2007).