The Authority of the Consumer

The Authority of the Consumer

The Authority of the Consumer

The Authority of the Consumer

Synopsis

This book examines the development of consumer society and, in particular, considers the way that this development changes the nature and meaning of cultural relationships of authority. The chapters examine the issue theoretically but also consider it in a variety of spheres from education to advertising, from the police to design and from consumer organizations to museums.

Excerpt

The papers presented in this volume derive from conferences and workshops organized by the Centre for the Study of Cultural Values at the University of Lancaster. In the period 1988-90 the Centre took as its research theme ‘The values of the enterprise culture’ which resulted in two publications, Enterprise Culture (edited by R. Keat and N. Abercrombie, 1991) and The Values of the Enterprise Culture (edited by P. Heelas and P. Morris, 1992), both published by Routledge. In the following year, 1991, the Centre’s work focused on contemporary forms of consumption and debates about the nature of consumer society which were replaced in a series of weekly workshops and four small conferences entitled: The New Consumer, Consuming Culture, Consuming Public Services, and Green Consumerism. These conferences were funded by the Nuffield Foundation to whom we give grateful thanks. Reflecting the Centre’s commitment to interdisciplinary work across the social sciences and humanities, the contributors to these meetings were drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines represented within the Centre, and also included some with first-hand experience, as practitioners, of the areas they examined.

We would like to thank the following participants who presented papers to these meetings but who have not written for this volume: Richard Adams, Luciano Cheles, Susan Condor, Debra Davies, Mary Douglas, Lisa Gee, Robin Grove-White, Gerry Harris, Bob Hamilton, Paul Hatton, Christine King, Scott Lash, Richard Macrory, Mica Nava, Chris Rose, Jackie Stacey, Tessa Tennant, Steve Trivett, and John Urry. We also owe a special vote of thanks to Eileen Martin, who organized the workshops and conferences.

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