We spend more time shopping than doing anything else, after sleep and work. So why is it not taken more seriously? The answer: we take shopping for granted. Indeed, culture can only `work' by being taken for granted. This paradox - that what is most familiar, like shopping, is also the hardest to `see' analytically - provides the starting point for this compelling examination of the many dimensions of the shopping experience.
Shopping enables readers to realize the significance of their shopping memories and milestones, how the rhythm of the day or week revolves as much around shop opening hours as working hours or bus times, and why Mayor Giuliani was right after 9/11 to tell Americans to keep on shopping. From an exciting cultural perspective, Jenny Shaw explores how shopping is viewed, the history behind its `fall from grace', its part in the common culture, its role in helping us craft new identities, hold on to old ones, adjust to change, and generally `hold us together' both as individuals and communities.
Students of sociology, anthropology, social psychology, media and business studies interested in culture and the everyday world will be gripped by this engaging and accessible guide to the meaning behind what the ordinary shopper actually does and why shopping remains so popular despite social and cultural changes.
Jenny Shaw, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sussex
Chapter 1 Shopping in the Rain Chapter 2 From Thrift to Spendthrift: How Buying Turned Into Spending Chapter 3 A la Recherche des Shops Perdus Chapter 4 Signposts and Shopping Milestones: Too Old For Topshop? Chapter 5 Shopping: A Rough Guide to Gender Chapter 6 Putting on a Posh Voice Chapter 7 Conclusion: Taking it all For Granted Bibliography