Scholars in political science, sociology, American and European studies, communication, economics, marketing, and history, as well as
those working across these boundaries, have speculated that the commercialization of media has contributed to the decline of civic culture.
They argue that the extravagant lifestyles and personal needs emphasized in product-saturated mass communications diminish civic-mindedness
by sustaining and reinforcing an individualistic, consumption-oriented culture. From this perspective, consumer culture and civic culture are at odds,
with the rise of one diminishing the other. This position is not without controversy, however, as others contend that civic culture and consumer
culture are not antithetical. Instead, these two may be intrinsically linked, as the consumption associated with "lifestyle politics"
increasingly functions as a form of civic participation. Our work explores these connections, with special attention to issues of consumption
and opinion leadership, socially conscious consumption, competitive consumption, political marketing, downshifting, market-driven political behaviors,
and the intersection of consumer and civic culture.