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Critical Luxury StudiesArt, Design, Media$
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John Armitage and Joanne Roberts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402613

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402613.001.0001

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Knowing Luxury: From Socio-Cultural Value to Market Price?

Knowing Luxury: From Socio-Cultural Value to Market Price?

(p.25) Chapter 2 Knowing Luxury: From Socio-Cultural Value to Market Price?
Critical Luxury Studies

Joanne Roberts

John Armitage

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter is concerned with the epistemology — or the nature and scope of knowledge — about luxury. The purpose here is not merely to define luxury but, rather, to explore how luxury is known and how this knowing is influenced by the rise to dominance of markets in the neoliberal era. Following an examination of the various meanings of luxury evident in current debates, the nature of knowledge and knowing is considered before knowing luxury goods and services is explored. Two distinct forms of knowing luxury are identified in this chapter: the first based on socio-cultural practice-based understandings and the second on market valuations. The chapter then argues that the privileging of the market under neoliberalism is leading to a shift in the nature of knowing luxury from the first to the second of these two forms.

Keywords:   epistemology of luxury, knowing luxury, luxury goods and services, socio-cultural practice, market valuations, neoliberalism

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