Inspiring research contradicts journalistic and academic presumptions. It seems that the multidisciplinary research program Cultures of Consumption has produced inspiring papers. Anthropologist Daniel Miller gives us a summary of a public presentation of the research results on the blog Material World:
As usual in such programme the highlights came from research that contradicts journalistic and academic presumptions. For example we heard evidence that international retailing firms find that they have to raise their standards to meet Chinese consumers who are more demanding than those in other areas. Another paper demonstrated that people have extended family meals in the UK just as much now as in the 1970s (though migrating from dinner table to kitchen table) and that in terms of food behaviour generally there is no evidence for global convergence e.g. becoming more like the US.