Past events

2010 -2011

October 1st, 2010
The Resource Value of Experiential Consumption
Michelle Weinberger, Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Northwestern University

Michelle’s research examines whether experiential consumption among middle-class consumers produces value beyond the hedonic value identified in previous research. For this presentation, she discussed her identification of the value of “explorative experiences,” proposed reasons for why these experiences are valued, and identified a tension that consumers experience between “explorative experiences” and “domestic experiences.”

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November 5th, 2010
Playing by the Rules: Competing Logics of Exchange in the Market for Contemporary Art
Erica Coslor, Sociology Department, University of Chicago

Erica’s research compares and contrasts the norms and expectations of two systems of exchange in the art market: auction houses and art galleries. For this presentation, she discussed the functions of each of these exchange systems, the rules that govern each system, and the strategies that buyers use to participate in both types of exchange.

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December 3rd, 2010
The Uncertain Disciplinary Status of Consumer Behavior: Implications for Consumer Culture Theory
Alan Malter, Department of Managerial Studies, University of Illinois at Chicao

Macinnis and Folkes (2010, JCR) argue that consumer behavior (CB) is neither an independent discipline nor an interdisciplinary field, but is a subdiscipline of marketing. Where does this leave consumer culture theory, especially given the uncertain and shifting status of marketing itself? For this session, Alan led a discussion of the Macinnis and Folkes article, with a focus on the article’s implications for our own view of consumer research.

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February 4th, 2011
If These Collectibles Could Talk: The Relived Experience of Authentic Black Memorabilia
Geraldine Henderson, College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin

Black memorabilia is frequently controversial and has been described as one of the provocative areas of collecting in the United States. Why do people collect Black memorabilia? For several years, Geri and her colleagues have been examining the value and meanings that individuals associate with this kind of collecting, and identifying the factors that lead individuals to hold these meanings. For this talk, Geri presented results from several research projects, which cover a range of relevant issues, including the development and influence of collective memory, the marketplace value of depictions of the past, and consumer assessments of authenticity.

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March 4th, 2011
Youth Status, "Style," and Branded Forms in South India
Constantine Nakassis, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago

Costas presented findings based on over 2 years of ethnographic research among college-age youth, television and film production, and counterfeit brand garment production in Tamil Nadu, India. One of the main topics of inquiry for his research has been the relationship between youth concepts of masculinity and status and how they articulate to the consumption, circulation, and production of brand garments in South India -- authentic, grey market (export surplus and defects), counterfeit, and what we might call brand "inspired."

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April 1st, 2011
Consuming Consumer Culture: Consequences of Consumer Subjectivity
Fuat Firat, College of Business, The University of Texas-Pan American

In his presentation, Fuat offered his perspective on modern thought’s promotion of the consumerization of the subject and the individuality of the human being. Although highly meritorious in history, these orientations in modern life may have also excessively promoted and focused humanity’s attention on projects of identity, and on the concept of value as the organizing principle of modern life. This presentation focused on the consequences of these modern biases and their implications for the discipline of consumer research.

Fuat was selected as our first annual "fly-in" speaker--someone who does not live within driving distance of Chicago and whose travel expenses are paid by our generous sponsors. As is true every year, nominations and voting for the "fly in" speaker were open to everyone on the C4 mailing list. Thanks to all who participated!

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May 6th, 2011
The Cultural Construction of Consumer Credit
Nina Diamond and Suzanne Fogel, Department of Marketing, DePaul University

Nina and Sue presented their exploratory research on the role of credit in the everyday lives of consumers in three Asian countries. Their work examines the cultural meanings assigned to credit cards and the financial management practices in which those meanings are manifest. They also investigate how the unique political and economic agendas and regulatory policies of national governments frame consumer understanding of credit cards and influence local credit consumption practices, and how the financial services industry generates similarities in consumer meanings and credit practices across cultures by means of global positioning efforts and images of “the good life.”