Grant McCracken, super anthropologist, has a new collection of essays addressing cultural consumption. Culture & Consumption (1988) has long since attained classic status. Now comes Culture & Consumption II, inquiring into everything from Raymond Loewy's streamlinedness to Marilyn Monroe's "invention of blondness."
Consumption remains profoundly controversial; see, for example, Virginia Postrel's just-posted response to the most recent wave of critics. McCracken doesn't think you are being frozen by too many choices; his interest lies in the meaning with which consumers invest those artifacts they do choose. He's had a lasting influence on reason's cultural critique.