Discourses of consumption (framing thoughts &actions in terms of consumer focus) dominate organizational theory. In parts of the economy, pdtn itself has been reconfigured away from material manufacture & towards the fashioning of ‘signs & spaces’ that are orientated to consumption. Eg. Nike brands. Sell the Nike brand (swoosh logo & just do it) >make &sell Nike. Sportswear are the vehicles to mobilize the brand. Concerned about outcome of the design process that materializes brand & sign value within pdt>think of them as manufactured goods. Advertising&promotion>physical capital expenditure (retail infrastructure). Consumption-focused. Necessitate huge organizational efforts. That’s why retail capital accts for a rising proportion of paid employment & exercises great organizational power within sys of commodity production. Marketing & advertising are strategically impt. WHY? Mediates btw the worlds of producer&consumer->generates sales. Production: economic process of making goods and services. Consumption: their utilization. Enterprises need the sales generated by consumption in order to realize the value from production processes.
Consumption is cultural & economic. Why cultural? It is implicated on how we conduct our daily lives, our management of household & family affairs, our self-identity, in our moral senses of how our lives ought to be and of how we ought to relate to others. Consumption too has been something of an enigma to mainstream economics (think of sth you recently bought, why you bought it, & how you plan for it to be used.). Consumption extends into our wider culture. Images, meanings, feelings, experiences, habits & technologies that underlie them, sense of identity. What kinds of relationships btw culture and economy generated through consumption? Dominant trend: economic, commercial imperatives to dominate & degrade our cultural lives (ECONOMIZATION OF CULTURE). Capitalist societies create ‘false needs’-a sense of wanting & requiring far more than is materially necessary & might be less culturally desirable-> Role of Advertising in stimulating consumption. Thus, Economic forces dominate. Consumer culture is cast as a way that ensures that mass pdtn is accompanied by appropriate levels of mass consumption. Eg. Originally degigned to be a stylish mode for travel for Italian women, the Italian motor scooter became crucial component of the British Mod subculture. It was increasingly symbolically recast and materially customized to act as a subcultural icon opposed to the British’s brute masculinity of ‘Rockers’ and their motorbike. The scooter became part of the culture that its original designer has no knowledge of and certainly did not control. On the other hand, consumer culture can be seen as a less passive, less controlled. Emphasis is not on consumers being made to consume, but consumers using the things they buy for their own ends. It involves the ‘culturalization of the economy’. Consumers can creatively rework the products being sold to them, giving new meaning to them and use them as launch pads for their own symbolic & practical creativity.
What we consume both reflects and creates what sort of class position we have. Others highlight the role of commodities within th private dream worlds of consumers, so that consumption is about fulfilling our fantasies and desires more than conforming to socially constructed tastes. Others also focus on more mundane forms of consumption like household provisioning and food shopping, attend to how the things w buy enact domestic relations of love and care.
Global geographies of consumption
Consumption-the extent to which modern consumption both produces and reflects a profound erosion of cultural traditions & differences, homogenizing the world into increasingly similar landscapes, people and social systems. Global capitalism and its consumer culture comprises ‘a powerful culture which overwhelms local and regional experience and...
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