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Economic LivesHow Culture Shapes the Economy$
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Viviana A. Zelizer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139364

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139364.001.0001

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Culture and Consumption

Culture and Consumption

(p.398) 19 Culture and Consumption
Economic Lives

Viviana A. Zelizer

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the intersections of culture and consumption. It takes up recent investigations of consumption outside of sociology; sociological studies of consumption, outside the claimed territory of economic sociology; and consequent challenges to economic sociology. Following those three points, it reviews three different sites of consumption—households, ethnic–racial communities, and retail settings—where extensive research has recently occurred, with an eye to better integration between economic sociology and empirical studies of consumption. It argues that although cultural variation plays a significant part in consumption, it is a common mistake to suppose that consumption forms a warm cultural island in a frigid economic sea. Shared understandings and their representations—the components of culture—undergird all of economic life, from e-commerce to sweatshops.

Keywords:   culture, consumption, sociology, households, ethnic–racial communities, retail

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