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In economic terms, consumption is the intended endpoint of production. Within capitalism, goods and services are produced, exchanged and consumed (supply) in response to demand. It has been argued that the body has become another object of consumption: this may refer to what we buy to adorn ourselves (clothing); a particular way of living we may ‘buy’ into (performativity); or it can refer to the ways in which we may package, present and sell ourselves to the world (Habitus, Identity).
"Consumption." SAGE Key Concepts series: Key Concepts in Body and Society, Kate Cregan, Sage UK, 1st edition, 2012. Credo Reference, https://niagaracc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sageukbody/consumption/0?institutionId=2764.
Originally an American term describing the doctrine that a stable economy is conditional on continuous growth of goods and services, consumerism is now used far more broadly to refer to individuals' patterns of expenditure – often within market societies where particular social premiums are placed on the consumption of constant product and service innovation. In its contemporary use the term often has pejorative connotations as when associated with the belief that happiness in a modern society is inextricably linked with the number and quality of goods and services consumed.
Consumerism raises a number of difficult questions for companies aspiring to social responsibility: are our products and services ‘useful’ to society; what are their social, environmental or other effects; do we market our products responsibly; are the patterns of consumerism we promote sustainable or responsible? The relationship between consumerism and sustainable consumption is particularly vexed.
Sabapathy, J. (2010). Consumerism. In W. Visser, D. Matten, M. Pohl, & et. al., The a to z of corporate social responsibility (2nd ed.). Wiley. Credo Reference: https://niagaracc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/wileyazcsr/consumerism/0?institutionId=2764
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