Why do the Indians Wear Adidas? Or, Culture Contact and the Relations of Consumption

  • Richard R. Wilk
  • Eric J. Arnould


The study of the consumption of goods has never achieved the prominence in anthropology of either production or exchange. Yet the accelerating consumption of western goods in non-western societies is one of the most obtrusive cultural and economic trends of the last three centuries. This article addresses the general issue of why goods flow between cultural groups by re-examining the concept of consumption. It raises questions of importance to studies of development, material culture, ethnohistory, and symbolic anthropology.

Part 1: An Archaeology of Business Anthropology