Essay about Consumption and Everyday Life

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Consumption and Everyday Life This interdisciplinary volume portrays the variety and complexity of consuming practices that are embedded in the context of everyday life. The contributors cover a broad range of cultural consuming patterns drawing on material as well as symbolic resources with case studies from different parts of the world. Studied practices include shopping, personal narratives, music and performance, the imagination of identities and places, media and audiences as well as domestic communication technologies. These cases counter both traditional images of a passive, powerless consumer and the postmodern glorification of consumers as "creative artists", but rather illustrate the varying balance between constraint…show more content…
He questions theories of modernization that assign consumption a central place in the fall from community life by demonizing it as a fetishist obsession with material goods. With examples from shoppers in London he tries to move the debate from moral evaluations to a perspective that does not divorce the embeddedness of objects in social relations, and transcends the opposition between "commodity societies" and "gift societies". Ruth Finnegan contributed two chapters, the first of which is concentrated on personal narratives and cultural identity. She outlines how personal narratives create multiple cultural identity. Countering the notion that cultures produce only one coherent type of identity, she votes for a complex plurality. By consuming conventional "scripts" that are only available in a limited range within each culture, people act as their own "unofficial biographers", trying to create meaningful stories covering the past, present, and future. Her second chapter focuses on music and performance as collective cultural activities, based on the informal everyday networks of people. She points out how music resembles other cultural activities that are meant to tie communities and create collective identities. This chapter was least clear to me in the sense how it is related to issues of consumption. It rather focuses on everyday activities rather than on consumption, and even did not mention consumption very often. However, this shows how
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