From production and consumption to prosumption

A personal journey and its larger context

Authored by: George Ritzer

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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Review essays in handbooks are generally pitched at a general, impersonal level. However, I will deviate from that model here in dealing in very personal terms with production, consumption, and prosumption. My career in sociology has encompassed and progressed through those three areas and journal articles, monographs, textbooks, edited volumes, and special journal issues devoted to them. A practical reason for sticking close to my career interests is that the literatures on these areas has exploded, making it nearly impossible to offer an overview of one of them, let alone all three, in a single review essay. However, this is not merely an overview of the three topics, but it is embedded in a larger narrative on the ways in which dealing with the concepts and processes of production and consumption are in the process of being subsumed – and arguably should have always been subsumed – by prosumption. What we historically have conceived of as production and consumption will remain important, but they need to be reconceptualized as aspects of prosumption.

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