Consumer Identities (Book)

Agency, Media and Digital Culture

Consumer Identities explores the notion of agency by tracing the role and activities of consumers from the pre-Internet age into the possible future. Using an overview of the historical creation of consumer identity, the collection demonstrates that active consumption is not merely a product of the digital age; it has always been a means by which a person can develop identity. Grounded in the acknowledgement that identity is a constructed and contested space, the authors analyse emerging dynamics in contemporary consumerism, ongoing tensions of structure and agency in consumer identities and the ways in which identity construction could be influenced in the future. By exploring consumer identity through examples in popular culture, the editors have created a scholarly work that will appeal to industry professionals as well as academics.

Edition

Consumer Identities is an edited collection that explores the notion of agency by tracing the role and activities of consumers from the pre-Internet age into the possible future. It demonstrates, using an overview of the historical creation of consumer identity, that active consumption is not merely a product of the digital age, and has in fact always been a means by which a person could develop their identity. Specific examples of consumer identity-creation are drawn upon: from fandom to the myriad ways consumers use mass and social media. This is grounded in the acknowledgement of identity being a constructed and contested space and, as such, Consumer Identities examines how identity construction could be influenced in the future, by factors such as globalization, better representation of minorities in media and government regulations.

The volume will explore the differences between subjectivity and identity, making the case that identity is a useful analytic tool for historical, present and future interrogations.

Candice D. Roberts is an assistant professor and the director of the communication arts program at St. John’s University, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in communication, culture and media from Drexel University. Her work examines cultural narratives and identity in popular media, and she is particularly interested in archetypes, consumer behaviour and sociality around themes of class, sexuality and space/place.

Myles Ethan Lascity is an assistant professor of journalism and director of the fashion media program at Southern Methodist University.  He was formerly an assistant professor of communication at Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA. He holds a Ph.D. in communication, culture and media from Drexel University, and his research interests include popular culture and fashion communication.

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Section I

Branding desire: Strategies of consumer affectation in early Classical Hollywood film

The PushmiPullu of fandom

MySpace music’s pivotal role in the digitalization of music culture

 

Section II: Emerging dynamics in contemporary consumerism

A qualitative comparison of Mad Men fans in New Zealand and Italy

‘This is so bad, we have to watch it’: Acquiring subcultural capital through oppositional viewing strategies

The cannibals: Consuming celebrity through digital mourning

Brick by brick: De/reconstructing the children’s animated film genre

 

Section III: Ongoing tensions of structure and agency in consumer identities

I protest! A postcolonial critique of media fan activism in a globalized world

Big data and Twitter: Finding the stepping stones in consumer communications

Ethical consumerism in the emerging EU digital contract legislation

 

About the contributors

About the editors

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