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Economic inequality and luxury: a critical luxury studies approach

Economic inequality and luxury: a critical luxury studies approach
Economic inequality and luxury: a critical luxury studies approach
Economic inequality is often associated with luxury. This is because an individual’s ability to acquire luxury goods and services depends on their access to economic resources. However, it is necessary to recognize that luxury can take marketized and socio-cultural forms. Access to socio-cultural forms of luxury is not dependent on the individual consumer’s economic resources. This chapter adopts a critical luxury studies approach (Armitage and Roberts 2014, 2016) to explore the relationship between luxury, manifest primarily in the form of luxury goods and services, and economic inequality. However, by recognizing socio-cultural and marketized forms of luxury an understanding of the complexity of the relationship between luxury and economic inequality is achieved. Furthermore, it is argued that economic growth, while increasing the scale of inequality, has also lifted many people out of poverty and into the ranks of luxury brand consumers. Importantly, it is suggested, that focusing on luxury as a signifier of economic inequality is a distraction that conceals a lack of political will to address the causes of poverty and deprivation that are embedded in the neo-liberal market economic system.
Critical Luxury Studies, Luxury, Luxury Brands, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Neo-liberal Market
Oxford University Press Inc
Roberts, Joanne
c49f0cf6-8c79-4826-b7f2-8563d7aa99cf
Donzé, Pierre-Yves
Pouillard, Véronique
Roberts, Joanne
Roberts, Joanne
c49f0cf6-8c79-4826-b7f2-8563d7aa99cf
Donzé, Pierre-Yves
Pouillard, Véronique
Roberts, Joanne

Roberts, Joanne (2020) Economic inequality and luxury: a critical luxury studies approach. In, Donzé, Pierre-Yves, Pouillard, Véronique and Roberts, Joanne (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Luxury Business. 1 ed. New York, USA. Oxford University Press Inc. (In Press) (doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190932220.001.0001).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Economic inequality is often associated with luxury. This is because an individual’s ability to acquire luxury goods and services depends on their access to economic resources. However, it is necessary to recognize that luxury can take marketized and socio-cultural forms. Access to socio-cultural forms of luxury is not dependent on the individual consumer’s economic resources. This chapter adopts a critical luxury studies approach (Armitage and Roberts 2014, 2016) to explore the relationship between luxury, manifest primarily in the form of luxury goods and services, and economic inequality. However, by recognizing socio-cultural and marketized forms of luxury an understanding of the complexity of the relationship between luxury and economic inequality is achieved. Furthermore, it is argued that economic growth, while increasing the scale of inequality, has also lifted many people out of poverty and into the ranks of luxury brand consumers. Importantly, it is suggested, that focusing on luxury as a signifier of economic inequality is a distraction that conceals a lack of political will to address the causes of poverty and deprivation that are embedded in the neo-liberal market economic system.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 December 2020
Keywords: Critical Luxury Studies, Luxury, Luxury Brands, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Neo-liberal Market

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445475
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445475
PURE UUID: 1fc6e546-4ee8-40f2-af06-d51ca65b4c43
ORCID for Joanne Roberts: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5337-1698

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Dec 2020 17:31
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:21

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