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Freedom calling

[journal article]

Keller, Margit

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Abstract This article focuses on the development of consumer culture and specifically the notion of consumer freedom in the transitional society of Estonia. Drawing on the work of Zygmunt Bauman and Don Slater as well as the notion of 'transition culture' proposed by Michael Kennedy, it investigates the importance of western goods and western notions of consumer choice in anchoring emerging conceptions of individual freedom in post-socialist countries. This theme is explored through an analysis of a consumer item with a particularly high sign value in Estonia: the mobile phone. The analysis details the transformation discourses around freedom in print advertisements for mobile telephony from 1991-2001, demonstrating how over this period the meaning of freedom as a value shifted from political and economic conceptions to an individualized discourse of consumer choice emphasizing hedonism, self-expression and leisure.
Classification Sociology of Economics; Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature
Free Keywords advertising; consumer culture; freedom; mobile telephony; post-socialist context
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 217-238
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (2005) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)