English title: Consumption as a Source of Social Change

Author(s): Jochen Hirschle -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2014


This paper analyzes the societal impact of economic growth. I argue that, from a certain stage of development on, economic growth leads to the proliferation of consumption as a mode of social and cultural action. As a consequence, traditional forms of social and cultural practice, such as religious service attendance, become incrementally marginalized. I empirically test this hypothesis using data from official statistics and survey data from the ISSP and the ESS. Results first show that expenditures on leisure consumption significantly increase as GDP waxes. Second, I find that engagement in religious practices as well as leisure consumption activities positively affect involvement in informal social relations. Third, the results indicate that engagement in leisure consumption activities is negatively associated with participation of individuals in religious services.

Volume: 92

Issue: 4

From page no: 1405

To page no: 1433

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/SF/SOU001

Journal: Social Forces

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