"Consumption" provides a critical overview of major sociological approaches to this subject, discussing it in the context of both modern and postmodern societies. Robert Bocock offers a distinctive analysis of the ideology of consumerism and the role of consumption as a socio-cultural process. Bocock first examines the role of consumption in early modern Western society, and then analyzes its emergence in the early 20th century up through the 1990s. His historical analysis provides the starting point for an analysis of consumption between the 1950s and the present day. Also examined are the contributions of leading writers in the field, including Veblen, Simmel, Marx, Gramsci, Weber, Bourdieu, Lacan and Baudrillard. "Consumption" builds upon Bocock's earlier study of symbols and rituals in industrial societies, Freud and the concept of hegemony. Rejecting the theoretical anti-humanism of structuralist paradigms in the social sciences, Bocock attempts to formulate a more concrete and practical approach to sociology. Bocock addresses such issues as the emergence of modern consumption, theorizing about consumption, its relation to the symbolic, and the construction of gender and desire.