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Graeber, David (2011) Consumption. Current Anthropology, 52 (4). 489 - 511. ISSN 0011-3204

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Identification Number: 10.1086/660166


Beginning in the 1980s, anthropologists began to be bombarded with endless—and often strangely moralistic—exhortations to acknowledge the importance of something referred to as “consumption.” The exhortations were effective; for the past 2 decades, the term has become a staple of theoretical discourse. Rarely, however, do anthropologists examine it: asking themselves why it is that almost all forms of human self-expression or enjoyment are now being seen as analogous to eating food. This essay seeks to investigate how this came about, beginning with medieval European theories of desire and culminating in the argument that the notion of consumption ultimately resolves certain conceptual problems in possessive individualism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 09:13
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 02:12

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