In postmodernity, consumption is a prime site for the negotiation of conflicting themes of freedom and control. Explores the consumption of symbolic meaning through five consumption dialectics: the material versus the symbolic, the social versus the self, desire versus satisfaction, rationality versus irrationality, and creativity versus constraint. Argues that consumers are engaged in authentic choices in the construction and communication of self and social meanings, and that these consumption choices can be conceptualized as the exercise of existential freedom, even if constrained by inequalities in the economic system and by ideological hegemony.
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