Household Consumption in the Czech Republic: From Shopping Queues to Consumer Society
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This article gathers a variety of evidence demonstrating the rapid development of household consumption in the Czech Republic during the post-1989 period. In the first section, the basic features of household consumption under the communist regime are described. In the second section, the transition to a market economy and its likely positive impact on the economic conditions and behaviour of households is discussed. In the third section, post-1989 changes in patterns of family expenditures are documented and compared with several other EU countries. In the fourth section, a critical assessment of the development of Czech consumer culture with its agencies and clients is placed in the context of broader debates about the meaning of mass consumerism. Both the positive and negative features of booming consumption are summarised in the conclusion.
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