An Exploration of Orientations, Practices and Attitudes Toward Shopping in Australia
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Shopping has been an emblematic and often decisive social practice for theoretical interpretations of authenticity, lifestyle and commodification in both modern and postmodern conceptions of consumption. The history, politics and indeed mythologies of consumption have frequently been examined through conceptual frames which focus on shopping spaces such as the arcade, the shopping mall and even the airport terminal or cruise liner, and through shopping-oriented social types such as the fl⮥ur or the shopper zombie. Though consumption studies has to a large extent moved away from the shopping mall and its disputed affects to questions of objects and networked systems of consumption practices, an important reality of contemporary consumer culture remains the fact that shopping is a significant leisure activity for many people. In part, this is because such shopping combines search, acquisition and purchase with the apparent pleasures of sociality associated with drifting through shopping spaces. In this paper we draw upon quantitative evidence from a representative sample of Australian citizens to explore patterns of recreational shopping engagement. Our data illustrates the characteristics of recreational shopping in the context of the usual social survey variables, as well as relevant theoretical questions of desire, sociality, anxiety, ethics and self-identity.
Social Causes, Private Lives
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Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment