In "Consumers and Citizens, " N(r)stor Garc a Canclini, the best-known and most innovative cultural studies scholar in Latin America, maps the critical effects of urban sprawl and global media and commodity markets on citizens-and shows at the same time that the complex results mean not only a shrinkage of certain traditional rights (particularly those of the welfare or client state) but also new openings for expanding citizenship.
Garc a Canclini focuses on the diverse ways in which democratic societies recognize markets of citizen opinions, however heterogeneous and dissonant, as in the fashion and entertainment industries. He shows how identity issues, brought to the fore by the aligning of citizenship and consumption, can no longer be understood strictly within the purview of territory or nation. Rather, the postmodern citizen-consumer inhabits a transterritorial and multilingual space, structured more along the lines of markets than states. Defining this space, Garc a Canclini seeks to formulate a participatory and critical approach to consumption in which national culture, far from being extinguished, is reconstituted in transnational, cultural interactions.