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Consuming Austerity: Visual Representations

Consumer Culture Theory

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

Publication date: 22 November 2014



This paper adopts a photo-essay approach in examining the Austerity Project within the Republic of Ireland, and considers the intersection between consumer culture and the austerity visuals we experience daily.


A visual, photo-essay method is adopted. Visual images taken in urban and rural parts of Ireland – under the key themes of ghost housing estates, failed commercial property developments, failed business, and art representations are explored.


The visual representations and subsequent consumption activities of the authors illustrate how austerity has become a complex act of production and consumption, and the authors consider how these various representations play a role in creating austerity as a state of mind amongst consumers, and the subsequent impact this has on consumption practices, consumer experiences, ideals and identities.


This paper adopts an under-represented research methodology (a photo-essay) to explore the Austerity Project and its intersections with consumer culture.



Prothero, A. and McDonagh, P. (2014), "Consuming Austerity: Visual Representations", Consumer Culture Theory (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 133-153.



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