GEO387 Geographies of Consumption

Geographies of Consumption

Level 3
Credits 20
Availability Approved for BSc/MGeogSci Geography; BA Geography; BSc/MEnvSci Environmental Science; BA Geography & Planning
Semester Autumn

The ways in which we buy and use stuff and services are inextricable from the shaping of both our everyday lives and of contemporary societies. From constructions of identity and models of human well-being to issues of social equality and environmental sustainability, debates around consumption illuminate critical perspectives on contemporary societies and cultures. This module explores key contemporary geographical perspectives on consumption, linking critical insights and theoretical perspectives to our own practices and experiences.


• To introduce students to some of the key geographical debates in consumption.
• To encourage students to engage with this research in a critical manner.
• To enable students to apply geographical understandings of consumption to real world debate and issues.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, a student will be able to demonstrate:
• A sound critical awareness of the different traditions of research in geographies of consumption.
• Abilities in applying geographical understandings of consumption to real world debates and issues.

Outline Contents

• Introducing Geographies of Consumption
• Locating Consumption
• Culture and Economy
• Commodity Chains and related approaches
• What Does Stuff Do?
 - Consumption and Identity
 - Material Culture and related approaches
 - Ordinary Consumption and Theories of Practice
• So What?
 - Consumer Ethics
 - Consumption, citizenship and the city.

Delivery Methods Lectures (20hrs); Seminars (8hrs);
Learning Hours Scheduled: 28hrs; Independent: 172hrs
Assessment 4,000-word Essay (100%)
Feedback Verbal feedback is given during seminars and surgeries. Written feedback is given on the essay. Students are encouraged to seek feedback at every opportunity.
Module Leader Dr Matt Watson