Consumption in Brazil – the field of new consumer studies and the phenomenon of the “new middle classes”

Authored by: Lívia Barbosa , John Wilkinson

Routledge Handbook on Consumption

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138939387
eBook ISBN: 9781315675015
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380900


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In this chapter we review and interpret the development of consumer studies as a field of research in Brazil. Academic debates and intense media coverage of the emergence of a “new middle class” in the middle of the first decade of the 2000s drew attention to Brazil as a consumer society. This focus coincided with the diffusion of a range of translations of key international authors in New Consumer Studies (NCS) and led to a surge of dissertations, theses and publications exploring a range of consumer practices and experiences. At the same time, we see the beginnings of an institutionalization of this thematic area both inside and outside the Brazilian Social Science Associations.

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