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Social Opulence and Private RestraintThe Consumer in British Socialist Thought Since 1800$
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Noel Thompson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 July 2021

Gathering the Fragments

Gathering the Fragments

Critiquing the New Consumerism

Chapter:
(p.158) (p.159) 6 Gathering the Fragments
Source:
Social Opulence and Private Restraint
Author(s):

Noel Thompson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646012.003.0007

This chapter discusses the critique of consumption and consumer behaviour by late-twentieth and early-twenty-first-century socialist writers. It identifies the varied and diffuse nature of that critique which has centred around a number of disparate themes. These include the challenge to the notion of consumer rationality and freedom, the decentring of work and the erosion of social identity and the social dimension of humanity’s existence as a consequence of consumerism, the commodification of public provision, the failure of consumption to deliver human happiness, the ecosocialist critique of consumerism and the calls for greater simplicity of living and consumer restraint as the basis for a greater environmental and social opulence. The chapter also considers writers’ views on the possibility and consequences of a more ethical consumption.

Keywords:   consumer, consumerism, consumption, ecosocialism, ethical consumption, simplicity, restraint, public service, socialism

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