As well as reporting on recent empirical studies, an extended introduction is provided, and future directions for social scientific research, especially sociological research, are discussed. Among the issues considered are: the privatization and marketization of welfare state services; class, gender, ethnicity, and consumption; the consumption of education, Christmas and vitamins; consumption and identity; the consumption of the past; and the influence of Bourdieu on the sociology of consumption.
Part One: The Production of Consumption:.
1. Becoming a consumer of care: developing a sociological account of the 'new community care': John Baldock (University of Kent) and Clare Ungerson (University of Southampton).
2. Production, disbursement and consumption: the modes and modalities of goods and services: Keith Dowding (London School of Economics) and Patrick Dunleavy (London School of Economics).
3. Public nightmares and communitarian dreams: the crisis of the social in social welfare: John Clarke (Open University).
4. Producing consumption: women and the making of credit markets: Janet Ford (University of York) and Karen Rowlingson (University of Derby).
5. Consumption and class analysis: Rosemary Crompton (University of Leicester).
Part Two: The Experience of Consumption:.
6. The enigma of Christmas: symbolic violence, compliant subjects and the flow of English kinship: Pnina Werbner (University of Keele).
7. Consuming schooling: choice, commodity, gift and systems of exchange: Pat Allatt (University of Teeside).
8. Expelling future threats: some observations on the magical world of vitamins: Pasi Falk (University of Helsinki).
9.'Bastard' chicken or ghormeh–sabzi?: Iranian women guarding the health of the migrant family: Lynn Harbottle (University of Keele).
10. Consuming the past: Gaynor Bagnall (University of Salford).
11. The consumption view of self: extension, exchange and identity: Rolland Munro (University of Keele).
12. Social class, consumption and the influence of Bourdieu: some critical issues: Brian Longhurst (University of Salford) and Mike Savage (University of Manchester).
Afterword: the future of the sociology of consumption: Alan Warde (University of Lancaster).
Notes on Contributors.