Citizen-consumers: hyphenation, identification, de-politicization?

Clarke, John (2011). Citizen-consumers: hyphenation, identification, de-politicization? In: Brückweh, Kerstin ed. The Voice of the Citizen Consumer: a History of Market Research, Consumer Movements, and the Politicall Public Sphere. Studies of the German Historical Institute London. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 225–242.



Euro-Atlantic societies have been increasingly imagined as consumer societies, or as consumer cultures. Indeed, the mode of globalization dominated by those societies promised not just the spread of markets on a global scale, but also the opening up of the possibilities of consumption to societies denied its pleasures (particularly to those societies of the former Soviet bloc). In this essay, I draw on a study conducted with colleagues into the significance of addressing users of public services as consumers. The study explored governmental discourses and the orientations of people who used services as well as those who worked within
them.I want to concentrate on three particular social, political, and cultural dynamics that emerged as vital issues in the study and that link our concerns to those of this collection. These three themes are: hyphenation; identification and depoliticization.

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