Consumption, Institutions and Strategic Agency

Consumption as a phenomenon is under increased attention, especially of commodities such as food and energy that are regarded as essentials for biological survival. The concern on commodity consumption, however, is global. The discourse differs though – between Europe and India. In this essay, I base myself on this difference in discourse, and the contests that are being waged over the sphere of consumption, to argue that shaping up of consumption is an institutional act. It has agency. I use secondary data on consumption patterns, narratives around episodes of contests among multiplicities of agencies to interpret institutional contests, showing that forms and modes of consumption correspond with forms of organization of production. An agency on the production side therefore has an interest in subversions in the consumption sphere.


Biswatosh Saha (2009) ,"Consumption, Institutions and Strategic Agency", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 239-239.


Biswatosh Saha, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, INDIA


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


System Justification and the Preference for Atavistic Products

Minju Han, Yale University, USA
George Newman, Yale University, USA

Read More


J11. The Myth of Return – Success or Failure? Consumer Identity and Belonging in the Case of Repatriate Migrants

Sonja N. Kralj, University of Augsburg, Germany
Michael Paul, University of Augsburg, Germany

Read More


Communicating Limited Financial Resources Increases Perceived Trustworthiness and Interpersonal Connection

Grant E. Donnelly, Harvard Business School, USA
Anne Wilson, Harvard Business School, USA
Ashley V. Whillans, Harvard Business School, USA
Michael Norton, Harvard Business School, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.