Stonehenge and Its Festival: Spaces of Consumption

Hetherington, Kevin (1992). Stonehenge and Its Festival: Spaces of Consumption. In: Shields, Rob ed. Lifestyle Shopping: The Subject of Consumption. International Library of Sociology. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 83–98.



About the book: In contemporary shopping sites new modes of subjectivity, inter-personal relationships and models of social totality are being "tried on", "taken off" and "displayed" in much the same way that one might shop for clothes. These are not the modernist spaces of goal-directed individuals and utopian projects. Rather it is a space of carnivalesque inversions of the present order of things. The multiple masks of the postmodern person "who wears many hats" in different groups and surroundings form a veritable "dramatis personae". In such masks of the individual and the social world may be found a new spatialization and new intuitive perceptions of time and space. This representation of contemporary social life grows out of the work of Henri Lefebvre, Michel Maffesoli, Walter Benjamin and Mikhail Bakhtin. It is an attempt to take seriously the idea that we live in a postmodern consumer culture and to follow through the implications and possibilities of this idea. Cases are drawn from Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Singapore to illustrate the new intersections between people, mass culture and consumption.

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