Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conspicuous consumption

Ruth and Hannah

Allconsuming is a useful add-on to my blog, acting as a way of sharing and displaying what I'm reading, watching and listening to. Unlike some members of that social network I choose not to share my taste in food, drink and so on. So perhaps there's a subtle deceit, or at least a conscious decision to display a certain sort of taste to mark a certain sort of identity. Consumption is, though, a much more complex affair than some of those in media studies lead us to believe. Appadurai is very good at examining the choreography and chronologies of consumption using, I think, Christmas as an example. So I was interested in how all this played out at a family wedding this weekend. But I was also struck by the ways in which consumption and production intersect, particularly in these social rituals. It's almost as if performance is dependent upon the careful interweaving of consumption and consumption, whether we're considering food and drink, location, clothing or the vow-giving ceremony itself.

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