Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The main focus of this article is consumption. Consumption is a material social practice involving the utilization of objects, as opposed to their production or distribution. Some scholars, who argue for the recent development of a distinctive ‘consumer society’ during the modern period, would define it even more specifically as the utilization of commodities, but this seems unnecessarily restrictive. Consumption was recognized as the social process by which people construct the symbolically laden material worlds they inhabit and which, reciprocally, act back upon them in complex ways. This article offers a brief review of recent studies of consumption, with an emphasis on the fields of archaeology and socio-cultural anthropology. It examines the dramatic growth of a general analytical focus on this practice and the relationship to an expanding interest in the study of material culture. Finally, the issue of methodology is briefly assessed, with special reference to the requirements for developing an effective archaeology of consumption.

Keywords: consumption, consumer society, archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology, methodology, archaeology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.