Second-Hand Cultures

Second-Hand Cultures

3.25 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Antique', 'vintage', 'previously owned', 'gently used', 'cast-off - the world of second hand encompasses as many attitudes as there are names for it. The popular perception is that second- hand shops are largely full of junk, yet the rise of vintage fashion and the increasing desire for consumer individuality show that second hand shopping is also very much about style. Drawing on six years of original research, Second-Hand Cultures explores what happens when the often contradictory motivations behind style and survival strategies are brought together. What does second hand buying and selling tell us about the state of contemporary consumption? How do items that begin life as new get recycled and reclaimed? How do second hand goods challenge the future of retail consumption and what do the unique shopping environments in which they are found tell us about the social relations of exchange? Answering these questions and many more, this book fills a major gap in consumption studies. Gregson and Crewe argue that second hand cultures are critical to any understanding of how consumption is actually practised.
Following the life stories of goods as they travel into and through second hand sites, the authors look at the work of traders as well as consumers investments in second hand merchandise including gifting and collecting as well as rituals of personalization and possession. Through its revealing investigation into the practices and customs that make up these unconventional retail worlds, this much-needed study carefully unpacks the persuasive allure of the previously owned.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 20mm | 525g
  • Berg Publishers
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 21 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 1859736726
  • 9781859736722

Table of contents

1 Introduction Part I: Spacialities of Exchange 2 Geographies of 'location' 3 Constituting Difference 4 Spaces of Shopping Practice Part II: Practice of Second-hand Consumption 5 Redefining Rubbish: Commodity Disposal and Sourcing 6 Transformations: Commodity Recovery, Redefinition, Divestment 7 Gifting and Collecting 8 Reflections/Further Directions
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Review quote

In Second-Hand Cultures, Nicky Gregson and Louise Crewe explore the world of the 'vintage', the 'previously owned' and the 'gently used' in an innovative and richly detailed exploration of contemporary material culture...Insights come thick and fast in this intriguing book, which combines density of research with provocative questions. The Times Higher This is an important book. Using alternative economic spaces as a lens to re-examine the ways in which we think about such issues as the meaning of exchange, value and consumption, this volume provides a major challenge to the dominant conventional readings of these phenomena. Progress in Human Geography Journal
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About Louise Crewe

Nicky Gregson is Reader in Geography, University of Sheffield. Louise Crewe is Reader in Economic Geography, University of Nottingham.
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