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By Kaj Illomen

Kaj Ilmonen was once a pioneer within the 3rd wave of the sociology of intake. This book provides a balanced assessment of the sociology of intake, arguing that the keenness of 'the 3rd wave' exaggerated the function of the symbolic and imaginary on the rate of the materiality of human societies.

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Extra resources for A Social and Economic Theory of Consumption

Sample text

The same obviously goes for scientific modelling and theorizing in general. As the above implies, it is more than credible that economics might not always even be trying to create models that reflect reality and to use them to make realistic predictions. Instead what it is doing is to use its baseline assumptions and models to demonstrate how the economy can be made to work in the way it thinks it should work and to shape the economy accordingly (Dean 1999, 58). Of course, this is no novel discovery.

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the concept of freedom advocated by neo-liberal economic doctrine, at least Hayek’s and Friedman’s version, is deeply one-sided. This is evidenced, among other things, by Friedman’s failure to provide any serious analysis of the institutional conditions for the operation of the markets. indd 23 11/3/2010 1:38:34 AM A Social and Economic Theory of Consumption von Mises, Spencer and Lippman all uncritically follow Smith’s notion of commodity exchange in archaic communities and assume that this exchange is driven by the pursuit of economic benefit.

Has a technical aspect which does something and an aesthetic, communicative aspect which says something’. Take a Stradivarius. indd 37 11/3/2010 1:38:39 AM A Social and Economic Theory of Consumption the most expert violonists, is used to push the boundaries of violin playing. When the main weight of emphasis is on the positive extremes of all dimensions of the commodity, the commodity in question is usually a luxury item, something that is effectively ‘timeless’. However, the different aspects of consumption may also diverge in the same commodity, stand in a negative relationship to one another and thus create a contradictory commodity.

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