This course will discuss key issues of contemporary
consumer society, and the social and
anthropological theories which help us understand
consumer aspirations. What are the origins
of our global consumer society, and its current
inequalities? Key themes will include the
symbolism of goods and material culture in shaping
social relations of status and power. We will
discuss specific fields of consumption, such as
style and fashion in clothing, life-style
shopping; home-making through practices of consumption.
Consumerism is also politics, and we will
discuss how gender, class and ethnic identities
are linked to consumption practices.