In textbook economics, .consumption" might be equated with .demand". Consumer research based on sociology, anthropology, ethnology, history, etc., however, uses a much wider concept of consumption. It covers the planning, acquisition, use and disposal of products. It also aims to place consumption in a broader social context, politically, culturally and environmentally, in addition to considering its economic aspects.
The Consumer in Society addresses several important subthemes of consumption, such as liberalization in the 1980s, questions of sustainability and sustainable consumption, the integration of immigrants through (food) consumption, and aspects of consumer poverty. The book also gives an account of the recent history of consumer studies together with discussions of the differences between consumer studies in its current form and approaches such as behavioural economics and the theory of planned behaviour.
Eivind Stø's professional career in consumer studies is described, including his recent contribution to the theory and practice of participatory democracy. Finally, he was deceived into contributing to his own Festschrift, believing that he was collaborating on a journal article.