- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Situating Consumers and Consumption
- The Social Embeddedness of Marketing
- The Sharing Economy
- Prosumption: Contemporary Capitalism and the “New” Prosumer
- Consumer Culture Theory
- A Sociological Critique and Reformulation of Brands
- Relational Work and Consumption
- Meaningful Objects and Consumption
- Bourdieu, Distinction, and Aesthetic Consumption
- Taste, Legitimacy, and the Organization of Consumption
- Cultural Markets and Consecration
- Emotions in Consumer Studies
- Young People and Consumption: The Changing Nature of Youth Consumption in an Era of Uncertainty and Digital Experience
- Consumption <i>as</i> Production: Data and the Reproduction of Capitalist Relations
- Household Finances and Credit Visibility
- The Cultivation of Market Behaviors and Economic Decisions: Calculation, Qualculation, and Calqulation Revisited
- Consumer Transactions: Consumer Banking
- Consumer Credit Surveillance
- Omnivorousness, Distinction, or Both?
- The Development of Ethnoracial Market Segments: Lessons from the US Latino Media Market
- Race and Consumer Inequality
- Fashion and Its Gendered Agendas
- Gentrification and Urban Inequality
- Branding National Identity in an Unequal World
- Subcultures and Consumption
- Taste, Sensation, and Skill in the Sociology of Consumption
- Food Tastes
- Gender as a Critical Perspective in Marketing Practice
- Consumer Cities, Scenes, and Ethnic Restaurants
- Ethical Consumption
- Affluence, Anti-Consumerism, and the Politics of Consumption
- Linking Environmental Sustainability and Consumption
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews to what extent, and in what ways, contemporary studies of consumption have addressed how people create, maintain, and transform meaningful social relations as they engage in consumption. The chapter presents the origins, definitions, and applications of the relational work concept, which puts negotiation of meaningful social-economic relations at its core. It then proceeds to identify four streams of research where attention to relational work can advance our understanding of consumption, including how consumers (a) earmark their money, (b) build trust or repair mistrust in exchanges, (c) negotiate power and inequality through consumption practices, and (d) walk the terrain of morally tinged commodification.
Nina Bandelj is Professor of Sociology, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development, and Co-director of the Center for Organizational Research at the University of California, Irvine. Her research examines the social, cultural, and emotional influences on economic phenomena, globalization, and postsocialism. She is the coauthor or coeditor of six books, most recently, Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works (with F. Wherry and V. Zelizer).
Christopher W. Gibson, University of California, Irvine
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.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.