Imagining the Cultural Consumer

Class, cool and connoisseurship

Authored by: David Wright

The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415706209
eBook ISBN: 9781315725437
Adobe ISBN: 9781317533986


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This chapter considers the changing visions of the cultural consumer that emerge from historical and contemporary research into ‘consumer societies’. These visions play out, the chapter will argue, through some perennial debates, stretching back to at least the sixteenth century and intensifying across the late twentieth, about the processes and meaning of the consumption of culture and the role of the cultural industries in shaping these meanings. The chapter will focus on the persistent and continuing role of class as a surprisingly hardy, underlying infrastructure for these processes and their accompanying images of the cultural consumer as a distinctive and distinguishing figure.

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