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consumption

‘Work hard, play hard’: Fantasies of nihilism and hedonism between work and consumption

Introduction

Vice is known for its raw, unsparingly honest editorial voice… Vice’s editors are either totally tuned-in geniuses or prankster revisionists. Or maybe both. (The Wall Street Journal)

The first-movers of culture have embraced a continuum that includes the hip, subversive aesthetic of Vice Magazine. (New York Times Magazine)

Consumption of work and the work of consumption

Issue Editors: Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Rashné Limki and Bernadette Loacker

Work and consumption have always been intertwined, their interaction shaped by social and historical circumstances. The ‘consumer society’ (Baudrillard, 1998/1970) that we arguably live in is often associated with a fading interest in work. On this view, wage labour is seen simply as a way of funding consumption during leisure time (Berger, 1964; Gorz, 1985). However, the boundaries between consumption and work have become increasingly blurred.

The politics of consumption

This age of austerity comes on the back of a lengthened period of apparently rampant consumer excess: that was a party for which we are all now having to pay. A spectacular period of unsustainably funded over-indulgence, it seems, has now given rise to a sobering period of barely fundable mere-subsistence. Consumption, narrated along such lines, is a sin which has to be paid for. Beyond the deceptive theology of consumption, however, lies actual politics.

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