Consumerist Encounters: Flirting with Things and Images

ISBN : 9780190125561

Sreedeep Bhattacharya
292 ページ

Economic liberalization and globalization in India in the early 1990s resulted in a whirlwind of consumerist activities. New material and visual temptations swamped the markets. Expanding field of commodification infiltrated consumer minds through media imageries. New objects of desire aroused inhibited cravings. This engendered an accelerated and intensified relationship with things and images that permeate our everyday lives. Consumerist Encounters elucidates how our all-consuming relationship with objects and their representations have transformed rapidly over the last few decades in contemporary urban India. It argues that ephemerality, frivolousness, and multiplicity of choice regulate our flirtatious encounters with commodities and their images as we restlessly use, exhaust, dispose, and move on. Such a trend is illustrated by examining a plethora of commodity-centric phenomena such as exclusion through apparel, eroticization of body images, population of the T-shirt surface with graphics and text, rise of business process outsourcing, instantaneous seeing and sharing of images, and rejection of material goods in junkyards and ruins. These explorations collectively shed light on the constant negotiation of our identities, statuses, and mobilities in the image-saturated commodity landscape.


List of Images
Introducing the Interactions
1. If Your Jeans are Original, How Come Everyone Else has One?: Representation of Exclusionary Attitudes in Advertisements
2. Discovering Lineage amidst Urban Anonymity: Role-Playing through Images of Things
3. Peer-Reviewed Images: Image Consuming Selves as Visual Commodities
4. Till it Lasts the Wash: Attached Messages, Detached Consumers, and the Trajectory of T-shirt
5. Material Callings in an Outsourced Outpost: Accounts of an Aspiring Consumer
6. The Visual Access and Excess: New Ways of Seeing and Sharing
7. After the Tourists Depart: Visual Postmortem of a New Tourist Destination
8. The Afterlife of Things: Inorganic Transplants in the Liminal Debris of Consumer Culture
9. Visuality of Materials and Materiality of Visuals: Loss of Material Sovereignty in an Abandoned Industrial Site
10. Obsessive Compulsive (Dis)Order: The Ephemeral, Instantaneous, Promiscuous
About the Author


Sreedeep Bhattacharya is a Sociologist. He is currently Associate Professor at Shiv Nadar University. As a sociologist and as a photographer, he engages with various aspects of the contemporary visual, material and popular cultures. His ongoing research projects include 'themed sites of consumption', 'representation of commodities in cinema', 'making of the fashion image', and 'print advertisements in colonial Bengal'. He is also working on an autobiographical account on adolescent experiences titled 'Trauma'.