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Mobilizing hegemonic practices in trajectories of conspicuous resistance

Elizabeth Mamali (School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Peter Nuttall (School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 12 September 2016




Focusing on a community organisation, the purpose of this paper is to unravel the process through which infringing contested practices that threaten or compromise the community’s sense of distinction are transformed into acceptable symbolic markers.


An ethnographic study comprising participant observation, in-depth interviews and secondary data was conducted in the context of a non-profit community cinema.


Taking a longitudinal approach and drawing from practice theory, this paper outlines how member-driven, customer-driven and necessity-imposed infringing practices settle in new contexts. Further, this paper demonstrates that such practices are filtered in terms of their ideological “fit” with the organisation and are, as a result, rejected, recontextualised or replaced with do-it-yourself alternatives. In this process, authority shifts from the contested practice to community members and eventually to the space as a whole, ensuring the singularisation of the cinema-going experience.

Practical implications

This paper addresses how the integration of hegemonic practices to an off-the-mainstream experience can provide a differentiation tool, aiding resisting organisations to compensate for their lack of resources.


While the appropriation practices that communities use to ensure distinction are well documented, there is little understanding of the journey that negatively contested practices undergo in their purification to more community-friendly forms. This paper theorises this journey by outlining how the objects, meanings and doings that comprise hegemonic practices are transformed by and transforming of resisting organisations.



Mamali, E. and Nuttall, P. (2016), "Mobilizing hegemonic practices in trajectories of conspicuous resistance", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 9/10, pp. 1629-1651.



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