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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines consumption from a cultural perspective, with particular emphasis on taste and performativity as well as the ways in which to navigate the forest of objects and their meanings. It first reviews the current state and future of consumption studies through the lens of intersecting research vectors in the fields of consumption, taste, and materiality. It then considers postmodern theories of consumption, focusing on three senses in which the concept of aestheticization has been employed. It also explains how material culture affords symbolic evidence of a person’s taste, and more broadly, is generative of their social identity. Finally, it addresses questions of individualism and hedonism, as well as the extent to which consumerism is culturally and socially divisive or constructive, and proposes a program for a cultural sociological approach to consumption.

Keywords: Consumption, Taste, Performativity, Materiality, Aestheticization, material culture, individualism, hedonism, consumerism, cultural sociology

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