Challenging consumption theory: Production and consumption in central Mexico

Frances Abrahamer Rothstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article questions the view that consumption rather than production has become the motor of the global economy. Based on the approach pioneered and developed by June Nash that stresses anthropological political economy, the article examines small-scale garment production in San Cosme Mazatecochco, a rural Mexican community in which consumption has become an increasing concern. Despite the appearance of consumption as an overriding concern, however, I argue that the new consumerism arises out of new relations of production characteristic of flexible accumulation. Although residents of San Cosme are now consuming many more modern commodities and adopting new non-class consumer identities, who consumes, what they consume, and why they adopt such identities derive from relations of flexible production and they know it. Copyright 2005

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-306
Number of pages28
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Consumption
  • Flexible production
  • Globalization
  • Mexico


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