Starting from the idea that there is a fundamental intimacy between social relations and goods, I reconsider the major strands in the literature on consumption. Several dimensions of consumption, i.e. preferences formation, power and information balancing, the qualitative dimension of goods including their symbolic values, were neglected by neoclassical economics. Anthropological and sociological perspectives, instead, have all started by the symbolic function of goods albeit in different ways. The inadequacies of these approaches ranging from Veblen to Marcuse, from Bourdieu to Douglas, from Baudrillard to Featherstone, are discussed in some detail and are largerly traced back both to various misconceptualizations of the link between the symbolic, social interaction and social stratification and to the anthropological model of the consumer they presuppose. My proposal consists of a focus on consumption practices as part of the historical constitution of subjectivity, thereby trying to avoid any aprioristic notion of the actor-consumer, whether a-historical or post-historical. Reinterpreting some Simmelian themes, this approach is meant to rescue the logics of consumption from dichotomic alternatives such as rationality or irrationality, heteronomy or autonomy, socio-cultural classification or fall of signification, which have failed to adequately capture the complexity of consumption relationships and of ourselves as consumers. At a different level it seeks to reconsider the agency versus structure question, following the last Foucault in conceiving the actor-consumer not in a vacuum, but as a cross-roads of matrices of practical reason which give shape to the very strategies that the self may actively enact to construct itself.
|Titolo:||Processi di consumo e soggettività|
|Parole Chiave:||theories of social action ; modernity and identity ; Foucault and genealogy of consumer capitalism ; Simmel and Fashion ; Consumer Culture|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale|
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
|Data di pubblicazione:||1995|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|