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The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumption and Consumer Studies by J. Michael Ryan, Daniel Thomas Cook

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Sexualities and Consumption

YVETTE TAYLOR

London South Bank University, UK

DOI: 10.1002/9781118989463.wbeccs252

Sexuality and consumption are interlinked in powerful and significant ways, perhaps even more so in contemporary, even postmodern, times, shaping various material and subjective possibilities and impossibilities, as sexuality is displayed and regulated via consumption. Consumption refers to a wide variety of spending patterns and behaviors and is typically equated with choice: what we choose to buy, where and when, and how we choose to use purchasable commodities, ranging from mundane everyday goods and services to extravagant one-off specials, which seemingly reinforce the uniqueness of our own individual consumer choice. Crane (2000) explores fashion and its various and shifting meanings, symbolically, culturally, and economically, across time and place, drawing on data from England, France, and the United States. Crane claims that class has become a less salient aspect of identity, with less effect upon clothing practices, consumption, and signification, which she describes as a shift from classed practices to those based around lifestyles (Taylor 2007a). The concept of subcultural affiliation is invoked as a way of capturing the proliferation of clothing styles and choices, which, it is claimed, mark the changes from industrial class-based societies to postmodern, postindustrial societies. The manifestations of class and gender are seemingly replaced by an erasure ...

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