The Making of the Consumer

The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World

by Frank Trentmann

Frank Trentmann is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Director of the Cultures of Consumption research programme, co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Berg, 2006
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-1572-5 (online)

    978-1-8452-0249-1 (paperback)

    978-1-8452-0248-4 (hardback)

    978-1-8478-8017-8 (epdf)
  • Edition:
    First edition
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  • Published Online:
The Making of the Consumer
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We constantly hear about 'the consumer'. The 'consumer' has become a ubiquitous person in public discourse and academic research, but who is this person? The Making of the Consumer is the first interdisciplinary study that follows the evolution of the consumer in the modern world, ranging from imperial Britain to contemporary Papua New Guinea, and from the European Union to China. It makes a novel contribution by broadening the study of consumption from a focus on goods and symbols to the changing role and identity of consumers. Offering a historically informed picture of the rise of the consumer to its current prominence, authors discuss the consumer in relation to citizenship and ethics, law and economics, media, work and retailing. Contributors include: Donald Winch (University of Sussex) Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck College, University of London) Vanessa Taylor (Birkbeck College, University of London) Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel (CNRS: Centre de Recherches Historiques, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) Michelle Everson (Birkbeck College, University of London) Erika Rappaport (University of California, Santa Barbara) Uwe Spiekermann (Georg-August University, Göttingen) Jos Gamble (Royal Holloway University) Stephen Kline (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada) Frank Mort (University of Manchester) Ina Merkel (Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany) James G. Carrier (Indiana University and Oxford Brookes University) Ben Fine (SOAS: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)