Consumption research in Geography is relatively recent not commencing until the 1990’s. Marxist and post-structuralist theories are the dominate frameworks employed in geographical consumption research.
Mansvelt divides consumption history into three periods; Modern, situated with the 17th and 18th centuries, Mass Consumption, 19th and 20th centuries, denoted by the evolution of public-private spaces and the development of marketing as an essential aspect of product promotion and finally postmodernism characterized by niche markets in the late 20th and 21st centuries.
The notion of space is understood not solely as a physical manifestation but by the meaning(s) produced from such physical environs. These experiences are termed spectacular spaces typified by a combination of visible spaces such as malls, festivals, and theme parks. In contrast, home represents a public-private sphere built upon differing constructions of gender and heterosexuality. Cyberspace is differentiated from both spectacular and home spaces because of the blurred lines between public and private spheres. Furthermore cyberspace is risky (unsafe) and subject to surveillance and interference by prying governments and third parties.
Other key points:
Consumption as identity
The Body as site
The Body in spaces
Performance as identity (gender, class, community, social groups)
Food consumption as identity (Class, space, ethnicity)
Connections between production and consumption
*Actor Network Theory
Music (power issues, blurred lines producer/consumer, race/ethnicity, spaces, class)
Globalization (homogenization, creolization)
Tourism (the other)
1. GC emphasized middle class lifestyles. How might the various spheres discussed by Mansvelt differ if more focus was placed on consumptions of the working class?
2. How might the three-stage model of consumption differ in newly industrialized countries such as Brazil, India and China?
3. Blurred lines were a reoccurring theme in Castells (2004). Mansvelt too mentions blurred lines in addition to power dynamics. Does the evolution of producer/consumers challenge traditional notions of power mentioned in GC?