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Max Koch

Chapter 3, ‘Growth strategies and consumption patterns in transition: From Fordism to finance-driven capitalism’ by Max Koch discusses growth strategies and consumption patterns in transition, taking a historical perspective from Fordism to finance-driven capitalism. The author applies a combination of the regulation approach and Bourdieusian sociology and reflects that consumption-oriented purchase decisions are neither ‘spontaneous’ nor ‘individual’, but influenced by structural factors such as social class and state strategies, of which neither consumers nor consumption industries are usually aware. The chapter also argues that the regulation approach is compatible with Bourdieusian sociology; more specifically, Bourdieu’s concept of ‘habitus’ as an alternative to rational choice theories as well as a bridge between ‘objective’ social structures, including patterns of inequality and consumption and ‘subjective’ lifestyles. The introduction of the regulation approach and Bourdieusian cultural sociology provides a combined concept for the analysis of societal consumption patterns within wider capitalist growth strategies. This is subsequently applied to a comparison of the two main growth strategies after World War II: Fordism and finance-driven capitalism. Future research should be dedicated to unifying fragmented proposals for ‘eco-social policies’ and formulate a coherent strategy for the economic, political and ecological restructuring of the advanced countries.