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Situating Men within Local Terrain: A Sociological Perspective on Consumption Practices

Consumer Culture Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78441-158-9, eISBN: 978-1-78441-157-2

ISSN: 0885-2111

Publication date: 22 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

To explore how young men operating within influential discursive regimes construct their identity projects and come to know themselves through their engagement with consumption and leisure practices.

Methodology/approach

Foucauldian theory is drawn upon to conceptualise men as intertwined within their social environs, the recipients of socio-cultural inscription. By situating the micro-social context of the male consumer in a larger socio-cultural context, this study endeavours to go beyond consumer narratives to incorporate the influence of market and social systems on individuals’ identity work.

Findings

This study shows how identity projects are subject to the workings of power coursing through social networks. Individuals prescribing to a particular identity become subjected to the regulatory mechanisms of their community. However it is shown how subjectification operates differently in the highly structured community of sport compared to the less structured community of a hometown dwelling.

Social implications

This sociological perspective on men’s identity practices highlights the dynamic power forces penetrating social communities, in turn showing the necessity for consumer researchers to anchor the individual consumer experience within their influential environment to gain a more robust understanding of consumer behaviours and consumption practices.

Originality/value of paper

This paper explores the individual’s constructions of identity as situated within historically and locally particular cultural practices. This approach allows a better understanding of how consumers negotiate the world around them, keeping in mind the socio-cultural forces that serve to constrain and enable their activity, both in their daily lives and in the marketplace.

Keywords

Citation

Duffy, D. (2014), "Situating Men within Local Terrain: A Sociological Perspective on Consumption Practices", Consumer Culture Theory (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 81-97. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0885-211120140000016004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited