The new work ethics of consumption and the paradox of mundane brand resistance
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
In terms of consumer resistance and marketplace ideologies, consumer researchers have called for a more nuanced conceptualization of consumption moralism in order to avoid the simplistic trope of inside/outside the marketplace (e.g. Arnould, 2007; Luedicke et al., 2010; Penaloza and Price, 1993; Thompson, 2004). With the aim of contributing to this quest, this article brings together two originally separate ethnographic studies on food consumption and brands in Scandinavia in order to provide new insights regarding the increasingly complex arena of consumer morality. Instead of focusing on highly pronounced consumer resistance - such as activist communities or specific brand antagonists or protagonists - we focus on ordinary Scandinavian consumers whose identities are not centered around resisting the marketplace. Through a pluri-methodological combination of field observations, interviews, symbol elicitation, photo diaries and artefact collections, we propose an empirically informed model illustrating the paradox of ordinary consumers' brand resistance: embracing myths of craftsmanship. We show how ordinary middle-class consumers bridge 'bad' with 'good' brand consumption in various ways to legitimize the former, and how they make the evaluations according to traditional work ethics rather than (post) modern consumption ethics.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Journal||Journal of Consumer Culture|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|