The Dialectics of Shopping

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University of Chicago Press, 2001 - Business & Economics - 222 pages
Shopping is generally considered to be a pleasurable activity. But in reality it can often be complicated and frustrating. Daniel Miller explores the many contradictions faced by shoppers on a typical street in London, and in the process offers a sophisticated examination of the way we shop, and what it reveals about our relationships to our families and communities, as well as to the environment and the economy as a whole.

Miller's companions are mostly women who confront these contradictions as they shop. They placate their children with items that combine nutrition with taste or usefulness with style. They decide between shopping at the local store or at the impersonal, but less expensive, mall. They tell of their sympathy for environmental concerns but somehow avoid much ethical shopping. They are faced with a selection of shops whose shifts and mergers often reveal extraordinary stories of their own. Filled with entertaining—and thoroughly familiar—stories of shoppers and shops, this book will interest scholars across a broad range of disciplines.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The Dialectics of Kinship
17
3 The Dialectics of Community
66
4 The Dialectics of Ethics and Identity
111
5 The Dialectics of Political Economy
149
6 Get Real
176
Bibliography
207
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Daniel Miller is a professor of anthropology at the University College of London. He is the author or editor of many books, including Material Cultures: Why Some Things Matter, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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