Implicit within claims that society itself is in some sense postmodern is an argument about the priority of consumption as a determinant of everyday life. In this view, mass media advertising and market dynamics lead to a constant search for new fashions, new styles, new sensations and experiences. Material goods are consumed as `communicators'; they are valued as signifiers of taste and of lifestyle. This volume examines the viability of this portrait of contemporary society. Mike Featherstone explores the roots of consumer culture, how it is defined and differentiated and the extent to which it represents the arrival of a `postmodern' world. He examines the theories of consumption and postmodernism among contemporary social theorists such as Bourdieu, Baudrillard, Lyotard and Jameson and relates these to the actual nature of contemporary consumer culture.