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As the record spins: materialising connections

Karen V. Fernandez (University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Michael B. Beverland (University of Sussex, Brighton, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 9 October 2018

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine how the material nature of legacy technology makes its users passionately prefer it over its digital alternatives.


This ethnographic study uses data from 26 in-depth interviews with vinyl collectors, augmented with longitudinal participant–observation of vinyl collecting and music store events.


The findings reveal how the physicality of vinyl facilitates the passionate relationships (with music, the vinyl as performative object and other people) that make vinyl so significant in vinyl users’ lives.

Research limitations/implications

As this study examines a single research context (vinyl) from the perspective of participants from three developed, Anglophone nations, its key theoretical contributions should be examined in other technological contexts and other cultures.

Practical implications

The findings imply that miniturisation and automation have lower limits for some products, material attributes should be added to digitised products and that legacy technology products could be usually be reframed as tools of authentic self-expression.


This study explains what can happen beyond the top of the “S” curve in the Technology Acceptance Model, furthering our understanding of consumers’ reactions to the proliferation of digital technology in their lives.



The first author acknowledges University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Funding for some of the data collection costs and Aseka Kandaaddara for her enthusiastic research assistance.


Fernandez, K.V. and Beverland, M.B. (2019), "As the record spins: materialising connections", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53 No. 6, pp. 1152-1175.



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