Consumerism as Shaped by the Pursuit of Leisure

Authored by: Robert A. Stebbins

Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415697170
eBook ISBN: 9780203140505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136495595


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Consumerism, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the ‘emphasis on or preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods’. This chapter examines how our leisure interests guide our acquisition of consumer goods and services. It is the obverse of an equally current intellectual concern revolving around how the contemporary, widespread desire to acquire goods, also known as ‘the work-earn-and-spend ethic’, influences our consumptive choices. This second question, which has been explored from various angles by, for example, Herbert Marcuse (1968), Juliet Schor (1998) and Zygmunt Bauman (2007), is not necessarily a leisure-related matter. Though it will be mentioned here from time to time, it will not be discussed in any detail.

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