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Article

Ziyed Guelmami

This paper aims to discuss the concept of fetishism as an important but understudied kind of magical relationship to objects. Fetishism in the context of contemporary…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the concept of fetishism as an important but understudied kind of magical relationship to objects. Fetishism in the context of contemporary consumption is conceptualized as a multilayered construct underlining the attribution of an aura and magical power to a product to achieve personal goals.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 15 in-depth interviews were conducted to highlight contextual factors influencing the emergence of fetishism in contemporary consumption, to underline the instrumental and aspirational dimensions of fetishism and to provide a definition of contemporary product fetishism.

Findings

The results show that fetishism appears as fragmented and unstable magical beliefs toward products related to a need to cope with uncertain and important aspirational situations.

Originality/value

The paper provides a multidisciplinary approach of fetishism to provide insights regarding this phenomenon and its manifestations in the context of contemporary consumption.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Book part

Stefan Schwarzkopf

Purpose: This chapter investigates how researchers assemble market research test towns as hybrid sociotechnical arrangements. Researchers use various strategies in order

Abstract

Purpose: This chapter investigates how researchers assemble market research test towns as hybrid sociotechnical arrangements. Researchers use various strategies in order to purify such hybrids into simplified representations of a fetishized imaginary, namely the average consumer.

Methodology/approach: The chapter is based on an analysis of secondary sources such as company documents. Theoretically, it draws on the concept of consumption assemblages and on anthropological theories of fetish.

Findings: Fetishization is a powerful way for both researchers and their clients to purify the hybrid assemblages they are part of into easily digestible categories such as “the real” and “the average.” In that process, the test town and its consumers emerge as a fetish that allows corporate clients to alleviate decision-making anxiety. Because of the nature of fetish, purification as a process remains incomplete.

Research Implications: These findings call for more social studies of market research as a set of practices that shape the identities of those who do the testing and forecasting. This chapter thus opens up test marketing and so-called test towns in particular as a field for consumer culture theory research.

Originality/value: This chapter provides insights into how market research creates test sites to simulate purchase behavior and pre-test consumer products. This chapter maps how different groups of actors and different technologies are enrolled in order to enact an ideal-type consumer averageness on an ongoing basis in a particular test town.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-285-3

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Article

Ibán Díaz-Parra and Beltran Roca

Over the last four years in Spain, a strong autonomist movement (15M), based on radical democracy and mistrust of any kind of instituted politics, seems to be turning…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the last four years in Spain, a strong autonomist movement (15M), based on radical democracy and mistrust of any kind of instituted politics, seems to be turning toward statist and institutionalized politics. The purpose of this paper is to answer the following questions: Can we speak of a community fetishism, as opposed to State fetishism? Do autonomist social movements have a spatial project as opposed to a State spatial project? Why do horizontal and self-management-oriented social movements turn to the conquest of the State in the current framework?

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical evidence for this study stems from a qualitative methodological approach. The authors used two different types of sources. First, direct observations from the authors’ own engagement in social movements in Spain from 2011 to the present are used. Second, this work is part of a systematic research on spatial dynamics and the evolution of collective action in Spain. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with activists involved in social movements from 2012 to 2015, in which time informal interviews were conducted, and documents and observational notes were also collected.

Findings

Social movements have tended to develop alternatives to state spatial projects, partially as a result of an institutional setting that has been progressively closed to political alternatives to the neoliberal state. This last point leads to the posing of politics as completely independent of the political arena of the State (community fetish). From the first square occupations to the subsequent organization in local meetings, the 15M movement was the last expression of this tendency in Spain, while the turn on State political institutions responds to the obvious limitations of community fetishism in the context of the social and political tensions of the Spanish crisis.

Originality/value

This analysis contributes to the current debates on social movements in two ways. First, the authors investigate a usually neglected agent in the production of spatial political projects and strategies such as social movements. Second, the specific case of the 15M movement in Spain strongly shows the contradictions and limitations of the movements, which supposedly do not aspire to replace the State’s sovereign power through the idea of community fetishism.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

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Article

Tereza Kuldova

Fetishism has been often linked to misrecognition and false belief, to one being “ideologically duped” so to speak. But could we think that fetishism may be precisely the…

Abstract

Purpose

Fetishism has been often linked to misrecognition and false belief, to one being “ideologically duped” so to speak. But could we think that fetishism may be precisely the very opposite? The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of this at first sight counterintuitive notion. It locates the problem of fetishism at the crux of the problem of disavowal and argues that one needs to distinguish between a disavowal – marked by cynical knowledge – and fetishistic disavowal, which can be understood as a subcategory of the same belief structure of ideology.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper is based on literature review and utilizes examples from the author’s ethnographic fieldworks in India (2008-2013) and central Europe (2015-2019).

Findings

The paper provides a new insight into the structure of fetishism, relying on the psychoanalytic structure of disavowal, where all disavowal is ideological, but not all disavowal is fetishistic, thereby positing a crucial, often unacknowledged distinction. Where disavowal follows the structure “I know quite well how things are, but still […],” fetishistic disavowal follows the formula: “I don’t only know how things are, but also how they appear to me, and nonetheless […].”

Originality/value

The paper develops an original conceptualization of fetishism by distinguishing ideological disavowal from fetishistic disavowal.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Abstract

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article

Janet Sayers and Nanette Monin

The purpose of the paper is to argue that an enriched understanding of texts would enable more informed and responsible management practice. The authors present an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to argue that an enriched understanding of texts would enable more informed and responsible management practice. The authors present an approach to the analysis of management texts that enjoys, rather than contests, multivocality with the aim of making our approach to defamiliarising texts an accessible change management tool.

Design/methodology/approach

Working with a reader‐response methodology we provide comment on, and analysis of, a popular management book, Kevin Roberts' Lovemarks. The authors context a response to this text in a discussion of commodity fetishism and deconstructed management theory texts. The interpretation of the subject text highlights its rhetorical suasion and pulls buried meaning into view.

Findings

The authors demonstrate that rhetorical analysis and satirical play, a mode of defamiliarisation that is employed in their own reading and incorporated into their classroom praxis, enables managers to better understand and control their own sense‐making. The authors argue that where their enriched understandings challenge embedded assumptions, changed management practices are enabled.

Originality/value

The authors offer their own construction of a Lovemark text, a satirical echo of the Roberts original, as an example of the distancing effect of humorous textual play.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article

Gul Kacmaz Erk and Tevfik Balcioglu

Bringing product design and architectural design together, this article looks into the extraordinary use of everyday objects in urban and suburban spaces in The Lost Room

Abstract

Purpose

Bringing product design and architectural design together, this article looks into the extraordinary use of everyday objects in urban and suburban spaces in The Lost Room mini-television series (2006). The study questions the accepted meanings of products and spaces in relation to their physicality, perception and use. Through multi-layered analysis of the relationship between objects, (architectural and suburban/urban) spaces and their users, the article opens up a discussion about the purpose, meaning and influence of designed products and places.

Design/methodology/approach

In this context, this qualitative research makes use of moving images (as representations of products and spaces) to propose a critique of contemporary design via (sub-)urban design practices.

Findings

Using irony and metaphor to question the habit of object possession, accumulation and fetishism, the series challenges blind loyalty to contemporary beliefs. The Lost Room is not concerned with new forms or new designs. Instead, it forces the audience to consider the meaning of both objects and spaces in relation to one another. By transforming our understanding of space, the series also reveals humans' spatial limitations. The Lost Room is a unique small screen “product” in which people's relationship to the designed world is interrogated by having mass-produced objects and the built environment constantly in the foreground.

Originality/value

Film analysis from a design perspective is not new; however, this is the first time The Lost Room is brought to the attention of architects and designers via scholarly work. Film theorists and cinemagoers may also benefit from the unique design perspective outlined in the article.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

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Article

Stefano Harney and Cliff Oswick

This paper seeks to confront the orthodoxy of global business education with some insights from postcolonial theory in order to develop a new critical pedagogy adequate…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to confront the orthodoxy of global business education with some insights from postcolonial theory in order to develop a new critical pedagogy adequate for a global sociology of management and accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviewing the state of play in postcolonial theory and noting the new politicisation in that field, the paper asks what relevance this politicisation might have for an alternative to orthodox global business education.

Findings

The paper finds that the texts available to postcolonial theory present a wealth beyond the regulation of colonial and neo‐colonial regimes and in contrast critical management studies do not have texts that express such wealth or reveal global business as the regulator of such a wealth. Instead critique and indeed the anti‐globalization movements risk, appearing as regulators of wealth and business, threaten to emerge as the true carnival of wealth and path to freedom.

Research limitations/implications

To dissociate critique from regulation and business from wealth, business and management education must seek out these texts in the fantasies among students and in the differences that obtain, as Dipesh Chakrabarty has argued, at the heart of capital.

Originality/value

This article embraces the fantasies of the fetish of the commodity as part of an immanent politics, claiming both an excess of wealth and an access to wealth, based on a new fetish adequate for the globalized limits that students and teachers encounter.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

John Lodewijks

Clive Hamilton provides an assault on free market ideology and the ‘depredations of neoliberalism’ in affluent countries. He alleges that ‘Laissez‐faire capitalism has…

Abstract

Clive Hamilton provides an assault on free market ideology and the ‘depredations of neoliberalism’ in affluent countries. He alleges that ‘Laissez‐faire capitalism has been marked by devastating failures’ leading to ‘societies characterised by a pervading and deep‐rooted malaise’ (p.10). A move away from greed, materialism and money obsession to a more meaningful set of values based on family, community and social responsibility is the only path to emancipation. Humans have become consumption machines and the ‘great contradiction of the modern world’ is that:

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

Content available
Article

Michelle Stella Mars, Ian Seymour Yeoman and Una McMahon-Beattie

Sex tourism is well documented in the literature, but what about porn tourism? Whether it is a Ping Pong show in Phuket or the Banana show in Amsterdam, porn and tourism…

Abstract

Purpose

Sex tourism is well documented in the literature, but what about porn tourism? Whether it is a Ping Pong show in Phuket or the Banana show in Amsterdam, porn and tourism have an encounter and gaze no different from the Mona Lisa in the Louvre or magnificent views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the intersections of tourism, porn and the future as a conceptual framework.

Findings

Four intersections are derived from the conceptual framework. Intersection 1, the Future of Tourism, portrays the evolution of tourism and explores its technological future. Interaction 2, Porn in Tourism, distinguishes between soft- and hard-core porn tourism. Intersection 3, Portraying Porn as a Future Dimension, delves into futurism, science fiction and fantasy. The fourth intersection, the Future Gaze, conveys the thrust of the paper by exploring how technological advancement blends with authenticity and reality. Thus the porn tourist seeks both the visual and the visceral pleasures of desire. The paper concludes with four future gazes of porn tourism, The Allure of Porn, The Porn Bubble, Porn as Liminal Experience and Hardcore.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is that this is the first paper to systematically examine porn tourism beyond sex tourism overlaying with a futures dimension. Porn tourists actively seek to experience both visual and visceral pleasures. Tourism and pornography both begin with the gaze. The gaze is an integral component of futures thinking. Technology is changing us, making us smarter, driving our thirst for liminal experiences. Like the transition from silent movies to talking pictures the porn tourism experience of the future is likely to involve more of the bodily senses.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

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