Asia is the primary site of production of a myriad of commodities that circulate the globe. From cars and computer chips to brand clothing, material objects manufactured across Asia have become indispensable to people’s lives in most cultural contexts. This mega production generates huge amounts of waste and pollution that threaten the health and lifestyle of many Asians. Yet, Asia is not only a site of production, but also one of the most rapidly growing consumer markets.
This series focuses on consumption - the engine propelling Asia onto the world economic stage – and its implications, from practices and ideologies to environmental sustainability, both globally and on the region itself. The series explores the interplay between the state, market economy, technologies, and everyday life, all of which have become defining facets of contemporary Asian culture. Shifts in consumption that have taken place across Asia since the 1950s onward have had a deep impact on new and emerging informal economies of material care, revealing previously invisible sites of innovation, resistance and co-option.
The series will bring together studies by historians, anthropologists, geographers, and political scientists that systematically document and conceptualize Asia’s engagement with consumption and sustainability in the global environment.