Pasi Falk & Colin Campbell
Introduction Why should anyone not directly involved in marketing or retailing choose to do research on shopping? This is a natural enough question given that at first sight shopping does not appear to be a phenomenon of any particular societal significance, especially when compared with the long list of serious social, political, economic and environmental issues that face modern Western societies at the end of the second millennium. When set against such widely debated issues as globalization versus localization, communal integration versus disintegration, and individualization versus tribalization, not to mention the growing anxiety over the threat to the planet itself (environmental pollution and so on), shopping appears to be a topic of very marginal significance. However, the last decade has witnessed a considerable growth of interest in shopping as a research topic, not only within sociology but also in other disciplines. This has been the case in anthropology (Appadurai, 1986) ...