The Social and Material Dimensions of Markets
Routledge – 2014 – 168 pages
This book considers together the social and material dimensions of markets and marketing practices, drawing together insights from consumer research, marketing, social theory, and studies of material culture. While the role material objects play in meeting needs, wants, and desires – and their centrality as resources for identity construction – has been discussed by consumer researchers in depth, much less attention has been paid to matter and materiality.
The volume contributes to existing understandings of consumer value and offers a counterpoint to purely symbolic understandings of value. Individual chapters revise, extend, and critique debates surrounding processes of commodification and singularisation, aesthetics, symbolism, and language in the context of value creation. As such this book is of relevance to academics and students interested in consumption and consumer culture, marketing and material culture.
"This book deals with important new directions for marketing theory, combining its theoretical analysis which rigorous empirical research. I highly recommend it for all those interested in contemporary thought applied to marketing studies." – Mark Tadajewski, Strathclyde University, UK
1. Introduction 2. The Elusive Object 3. Useful Objects 4. Exchange Objects 5. Display Objects 6. Demanding Objects 7. Aesthetic Objects 8. Historical Objects
Elizabeth Parsons is Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Keele University, UK. Her research explores the construction of value in second-hand markets. This research takes a material culture approach to the study of consumption emphasising the social and cultural construction of the meaning of objects. Her work has been published in the Journal of Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, and the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. She has co-edited various books including Contemporary Issues in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, Key Concepts in Critical Management Studies and Branded Lives: The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work. She is also Assistant Editor on the journal Marketing Theory.