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We Dream as we Live – Consuming

Research in Consumer Behavior

ISBN: 978-1-78052-116-9, eISBN: 978-1-78052-117-6

Publication date: 7 November 2011


Purpose – This study investigates the practice of dreaming in consumer culture – a phenomenon that has been excluded from previous CCT discussions despite its inevitable presence in consumers' everyday lives.

Methodology/approach – The chapter draws upon anthropological, sociological, and ethnological literature on dreaming and upon a practice-based literature on consumption so as to explore the reciprocal relation between dreaming and consumer culture. The theoretical starting point is, thus, that society dreams in us. Empirically, dream diaries are used as data.

Findings – The exploratory analysis indicates that both the content of dreams and the way dreams are conceived are shaped and structured by the practices, values, and symbols offered by the globalized media and consumer culture.

Implications – The insight that the market and media discourse organizes also the world of dreams has implications to the existing literature on fantasy and fun, marketization, and mediatization of everyday life and on the literature on consumption places and spaces. More generally, the study unsettles the disciplinary habit of taking the waking and alert consumer as the unquestioned starting point of knowledge production and theory-making in cultural consumer research. Dreams provide an angle for further theorizing many key aspects of consumer culture, such as the notion of active consumer and meaning-making.



Valtonen, A. (2011), "We Dream as we Live – Consuming", Belk, R.W., Grayson, K., Muñiz, A.M. and Jensen Schau, H. (Ed.) Research in Consumer Behavior (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 93-110.



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