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Canada (158,278)
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GGR107H1 (52)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Consumption and Its Geographies

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter 9 Consumption and Its Geographies 1 Consumption Matters y Every day practices of consumptions have great significance economically and culturally Theyare fundamentally geographical implicated in production of the global local and nonacademic or lay geographical knowledge y Consumption can be defined as the utilization of the products of human labour y Consumption depends on production as production depends on consumption y In the form of retail capital consumption in fact plays an increasingly central role within many economiesIt accounts for a growing proportion of paid employment and often exercises great powers over manufacturing through the organizational power of retailers over their suppliesEconomic production has been reconfigured away from just material manufacture and towards the fashioning of signs and spaces o For example the brand Nike do not so much make sportswear as make and sell the brand Nike constituted through the sign and typography of the Nike name the logo of the swoosh and philosophies such as Just Do It y Nike invest far more in advertising and promotion around 10 of annual revenues than in capital expenditure around 35 y Nike is consumption focused y More generally every day on news bulletins all over the world consumer confidence or its lack is cited as the cause of the productive sectors of an economy booming or contractingy Consumers or more often the consumer or the market are constantly being invoked as the reasons why actions elsewhere in the economy must be undertaken o For example Bananas must be certain size because the consumer wants them to be hence Caribbean growers are passed overby UK food retailers in preference to those in South America y Consumption plays a central role in our wider social and cultural lives and those wider contours of society and culture inflect our consumption practices o Consumption is not always purely economico There have been debates on the role of advertising in stimulating consumption creating desires for products that would otherwise not exist In this portrait it is the producers who dominate consumer cultureo Consumer culture is a way of ensuring that mass production is accompanied by the appropriate levels of mass consumption y On the other hand it is possible to see consumer culture as less passive as less controlled as less subordinate Here the emphasis is not on consumers being made to consume but on consumers using things for their own ends o Many consumers creatively rework the products being sold to them by giving them new meanings in the process and using them as launch pads for their own symbolic and practical creativity
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