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The relevance of consumption in Niklas Luhmann's theory of society

Hellmann, K. U. & Luedicke, M. K. (2017). The relevance of consumption in Niklas Luhmann's theory of society. In: Askegaard, S. & Heilbrunn, B. (Eds.), Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory. . London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781315626093


A majority of international contemporary consumer research studies assumes that consumption has achieved a state of universal relevance. Mike Featherstone (1983: 4), for example, observed a “gradual extension of consumerism to more and more sectors of the population”, whereas Don Slater (1997: 25) observed that “values from the realm of consumption spill over into other domains of social action, such that modern society is in toto a consumer culture, and not just in its specifi cally consuming activities.” Steven Miles (1998: 1) even asserted that consumerism is ubiquitous and ephemeral. It is arguably the religion of the late twentieth century. It apparently pervades our everyday lives and structures our everyday experiences and yet it is perpetually altering its form and reasserting its infl uence in new guises.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in 'Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory' on 14 December 2017, available online:
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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