The Falling Rate of Enjoyment: Consumer Capitalism and Compulsive Buying Disorder

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Abstract

The article explores the relation between consumer capitalism and Compulsive Buying Disorder. A theoretical approach to the study of consumption and enjoyment is developed using Baudrillard and Lacan, and existing literature on compulsive buying is reviewed using the theory. It is argued that enjoyment plays a crucial role when symbolic identity is created through consumption of commodities with certain sign-values. In order for the consumer to redeem the commodity’s sign-value she must be able to enjoy its use-value. The compulsive buyer lacks this ability to enjoy, causing a fundamental disturbance in her identity as consumer. The analysis of Compulsive Buying Disorder is
furthermore applied in diagnosing the role of enjoyment in contemporary consumer capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEphemera: Theory & politics in organization
Volume14
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)197-220
ISSN1473-2866
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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