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The craft consumer: culture, craft and consumption in a postmodern society

Campbell, C. (2005) The craft consumer: culture, craft and consumption in a postmodern society. Journal of Consumer Culture, 5 (1). pp. 23-42. ISSN 1469-5405

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This article proposes that social scientists should explicitly recognize the existence of consumers who engage in ‘craft consumption’ and, hence, of an additional image of the consumer to set alongside those of ‘the dupe’,‘the rational hero’ and the ‘postmodern identity-seeker’. The term ‘craft’ is used to refer to consumption activity in which the ‘product’ concerned is essentially both ‘made and designed by the same person’ and to which the consumer typically brings skill, knowledge, judgement and passion while being motivated by a desire for self-expression. Such genuine craft consumption is then distinguished from such closely associated practices as ‘personalization’ and ‘customization’ and identified as typically encountered in such fields as interior decorating, gardening, cooking and the selection of clothing ‘outfits’. Finally, after noting that craft consumers are more likely to be people with both wealth and cultural capital, Kopytoff’s suggestion that progressive commodification might prompt a ‘decommodifying reaction’ is taken as a starting point for some speculations concerning the reasons for the recent rise of craft consumption.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2009 08:46
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2009 08:46
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540505049843
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/1469540505049843
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6551

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