Consumption as an Emotional Social Control Device

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses signs that, at least in the West, the consumption metaphor is turning into the constitutive metaphor of our relations with objects, with ourselves, and with others. This would probably be anecdotal were it not that consumption has also taken on the character commonly attributed to emotions: natural, inevitable, inexpressible, irrational, and spontaneous. This apparent lack of social features lends consumption enormous strength and puts it in the position of a human need that requires no justification. At the same time, the lack of social factors defining consumption justifies deploying multiple mechanisms to control and manage subjectivity. © 2009, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-857
JournalTheory & Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • consumption
  • emotion
  • subjectivity


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