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Shelf Life

Shelf Life
Supermarkets and the Changing Cultures of Consumption

£27.99

  • Date Published: October 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521626309

£ 27.99
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About the Authors
  • Supermarkets, in all their everyday mundanity, embody something of the enormous complexity of living and consuming in late twentieth century western societies. Shelf Life, first published in 1998, explores the supermarket as a retail space and as an arena of everyday consumption in Australia. It historically situates and critically discusses the everyday food products we buy, the retail environments in which we do so, the attitudes of the retailers who construct such environments, and the diverse ways in which all of us undertake and think about supermarket shopping. Yet this book is more than narrative history. It engages with broader issues of the nature of Australian modernity, the globalisation of retail forms, the connection between consumption and self-autonomy, and the highly gendered nature of retailing and shopping. It interrogates also the work of cultural critics, and questions recent attempts to grasp what it means to consume and to be a 'consumer'.

    • International focus - discusses the supermarket in Australia, the US and the UK
    • Carefully argued and politically engaged analysis of consumption and its 'critique'
    • Interdisciplinary approach combining history, cultural studies and ethnography
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521626309
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. Emergent Cultures:
    1. The discovery of the consumer
    2. Really modern retailing
    Part II. New Worlds:
    3. Engineering the shop
    4. She likes to look
    5. Tomorrow's shop today
    6. Living the transformation
    Part III. Familiar Places:
    7. Magic futures
    8. Strangers in paradise
    9. Theory without footnotes
    10. Towards the exit.

  • Author

    Kim Humphery, University of Melbourne

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