Consumer Culture and Its Futures: Dreams and Consequences

Featherstone, Mike. 2018. Consumer Culture and Its Futures: Dreams and Consequences. In: Evgenia Krasteva-Blagoeva, ed. Approaching Consumer Culture: Global Flows and Local Contexts. Basel: Springer Nature, pp. 1-46. ISBN 9783030002268 [Book Section]

[img] Text
consumer culture dreams & consequences final proofed 2.11.18.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (183kB)

Abstract or Description

Extensive lead chapter (25,000 words) in edited collection by Evgenia Krasteva-Blagoeva on consumer culture.

This chapter addresses a range of questions about the dreams and consequences of consumption. The roots of consumer culture can be traced back to long-standing dreams of abundance and unrestricted consumption. With consumer culture now the dominant force central to the maintenance of the contemporary neoliberal global economy, the chapter asks the question how far are these dreams still viable? Today’s cultural heroes prominent in the media are still the rich, superrich, and celebrities, who enjoy excessive luxury lifestyles. Yet what are the consequences of 200 years of increasing consumption? Some would argue that the ecological consequences of a consumer society are evident in climate change and impending planetary disaster through the accumulation of excessive waste and unknown risks. If the unintended consequences now threaten planetary existence, what is the potential for thinking beyond consumer culture? Does consumer culture merely provide an extension of work, with increasing surveillance through digital devices effectively locking people into more compulsive patterns of behaviour with the loss of genuine free time and sociability? Can consumer culture still deliver the good life and happiness? The chapter explores alternative ways of being together that could reverse the excessive individualism, egoism of consumer cultures.

Item Type:

Book Section

Identification Number (DOI):


Consumer culture, Lifestyle, Neoliberalism, Debt, Credit, Experience, Profiling, Prosumption, Immaterial consumption, Waste, Happiness

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


20 October 2017Accepted
26 October 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2018 12:56

Last Modified:

12 Mar 2021 11:29


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)