CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The study of consumer trends dates back to the beginnings of sociology, yet it has only recently become a significant practice. The present article reviews previous studies and current theoretical tendencies in the field of sociology of consumption. It also looks at research applications and perspectives that are presently coming to the fore. Technical and social innovation, the dawn of a new culture, a new way of life, the link between social stratification and consumer goods, and the question of convergence of consumer behaviour are examined. The phenomenon of consumption is seen as the result of a combination of utilitarianism, originality and hedonism, and, finally, satisfaction of wants. This last topic, which had not been looked at as closely as the former ones, has now become important. A more sophisticated sociological theory on consumer behaviour remains to be developed.

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