Response Essay: Thinking through Issues of Voice and Consumption

  • Laura Lindenfeld
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)


In the United States, as in many other post-industrial nations, what we consume functions as an important part of how we define ourselves collectively as citizens. From this vantage point, citizenship is clearly more than just voting behavior. It encompasses our daily rituals and practices, which includes our consumption of goods and services (Garcia Canclini, 2001). Culture and economics co-define citizenship along with the political in complex ways that invite us to foreground the mundane choices we make in everyday life and to consider how consumption, identity, and voice intersect. Defining ourselves by our consumption can create the illusion that we are expressing our own taste and personality through our consumption, when indeed the options available to us are often pre-determined and pre-packaged by marketing and production constraints. What role might the concept of voice play in helping us to tease out the relationship between dominant discourses and patterns that limit our choices and individual agency? The essays in this section turn to this question and ask where voice and consumption intersect and how we can conceptualize a more nuanced understanding between the material and political dimensions of consumption and the relationship between consumer choices and agency.


Eating Disorder Environmental Communication Sustainability Science Dominant Discourse Political Voice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Laura Lindenfeld 2014

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  • Laura Lindenfeld

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