Consumption and identity in the world of the book
The thesis draws upon an ethnographic and qualitative study of two related sites in the world of commercial bookselling. It provides a detailed account of the role of the book in the everyday lives of a group of readers and of the organisational practices and experience of work within a UK bookselling chain. This empirical account is entwined with a theoretical argument founded in non-representational theories of practice and subjectivity. This leads to a stance critical of dualistic conceptions of society and space and an attempt to describe and understand these sites as the outcome of material, human and discursive relations rather than as essentialised entities. The thesis explores the implications of this conceptualisation of these sites in terms of recent debates concerning commodity chains, the role of the object and materiality in constituting society and space and notions of subjectivity and identity and draws conclusions concerning the spatiality of these concepts.