The idea of luxury : a conceptual and historical investigation /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator: Berry, Christopher J.
Format: Book
Imprint: Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Series:Ideas in context ; 30.
Online Access:Table of contents
Table of contents
Table of contents
Publisher description
Summary:In this far-ranging and innovative study Christopher Berry explores the meanings and ramifications of the idea of luxury. Insights from political theory, philosophy and intellectual history are utilised in a sophisticated conceptual analysis that is complemented by a series of specific historical investigations. Dr Berry suggests that the value attached to luxury is a crucial component in any society's self-understanding, and shows how luxury has changed from being essentially a negative term, threatening social virtue, to a guileless ploy supporting consumption. His analytic focus upon the interplay between the notions of need and desire suggests that luxuries fall into four categories - sustenance, shelter, clothing and leisure - and these are exemplified in sources as diverse as classical philosophy and contemporary advertising.
Physical Description:xiv, 271 pages ; 23 cm.
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-259) and index.