Past Events

2018 - 2019 

Nov 2nd, 2018, 12:00 - 1:30
A Cultural Trauma Model of Market Redevelopment: Finding "Purpose" to Address Poverty, Exclusion and Injustice
Stacey Menzel Baker, Department of Marketing and Management, Heider College of Business, Creighton University

Cultural trauma theory (CTT) Illuminates social responsibility and political action by revealing interactions between traumatic events, trauma narratives, social practices, and social structures. The theory posits that when collective trauma rises to the level of cultural trauma actions will be taken and resources will be garnered to relieve suffering. CTT is used as an analytical frame to discuss work in two impoverished neighborhoods over the last three years. Both neighborhoods are actively working to create a more just and inclusive experience within the broader metropolitan area; however, different development models guide efforts in the two neighborhoods. The presentation describes these models, and then offers insights related to the degree of social and material change noticed within the neighborhoods, the sustainability of the different development models, and the energy and perceived material and social wellbeing related to the efforts.

Stacey was selected as our 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!


February 1st, 2019, 12:00 - 1:30
Gender-Based Status Competition In The Gaming Subculture
Jenna Drenten, Marketing Department, Quinlan School of Business, Robert Harrison, Marketing Department, Western Michigan University, Nick Pendarvis, Marketing Department, California State University

Previous research focuses primarily on understanding status competition from the perspective of Bourdieu, specifically examining field-dependent status and cultural capital. However, Bourdieu’s focus on class-based status may fall short in fully capturing gendered experiences. To better explore how gender-based status competition, Jenna and her co-authors turn to the theoretical framing of tokenism, wherein a dominant group is under pressure to share privilege, power, or other desirable commodities with an excluded group. The purpose of Jenna's presentation will be to explore how gender-based status competition manifests in a gendered consumption context, specifically in the subculture of video gaming which is culturally perceived as a masculine endeavor. Drawing on interviews with twenty-one female gamers, Jenna and her co-authors identify three ways in which women experience gender-based tokenism in gaming: 1) boundary heightening and isolation, 2) exacerbated pressures to perform, and 3) microaggressions. In contrast to Bourdieu, cultural capital is not enough to accrue field-dependent status in a gendered field given the emergence of gender-based status competition. Their findings suggest that gender-based status competition is driven by tokenism, which highlights the constraints to upward mobility in a gendered subculture.


March 1st, 2019, 12:00 - 1:30
Authenticity and Foreign Film Translations
Alan Malter, Department of Managerial Studies, University of Illinois Chicago


April 5th, 2019, 12:00 - 1:30
Marketplace Tranquility
Cele Otnes, Hyewon Oh, Ravi Mehta, Marketing Department, College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Increasingly, consumers are turning to the marketplace for goods, services, and experiences that can enable them to experience what psychologists term "low-arousal positive" emotions (LAPs). However, the marketing strategy and consumer research literature typically focuses on consumers' experiences of "high-arousal positive" emotions (HAPs) such as joy, surprise, and excitement. In this presentation, Cele and her co-authors will focus on practitioners' understandings of a new construct that they call "marketplace tranquility." Their initial conceptualization of this construct (which has progressed, and which Cele will discuss) is that marketplace tranquility is the delivery of offerings that enable consumers to experience "tranquility," a LAP that is understood in the literature as synonymous with feelings of peace, calm, and serenity. Based on interviews with 31 practitioners who discuss 33 "tranquil" marketplace offerings, and framing their research around three goals for conceptual/empirical papers that MacInnis (2011), articulates, Cele will address the following questions: 1) What is marketplace tranquility? 2) What dimensions define this construct?; 3) What differentiates marketplace tranquility from other, related constructs? The presentation will focus primarily on Cele's progress (with her co-authors) in defining marketplace tranquility, but will touch on the emergent "interesting" findings (a la Davis 1971, pertaining to RQs #2 and #3).


May 3rd, 2019, 12:00 - 1:30
The hybrid cultural logic and experience of consumer funding
Andre Maciel, Marketing Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Michelle Weinberger, Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Medill, Northwestern University

Consumer funding is the process by which businesses raise funds from consumers so to improve their current offerings or create something that does not currently exist in the marketplace. It does not involve promises of financial gains or equity for those providing funds, being thus different from conventional forms of business funding such as bank loan and venture capital. It also does not focus on helping those in poverty, being therefore distinct from typical forms of micro-finance. With the advent of multiple Internet platforms of crowdfunding in the last decade, consumer funding became a growing economic form that remains undertheorized in the marketing literature, which has studied primarily business characteristics that increase the likelihood of successful fundraising. In this presentation, Andre and Michelle will take a sociocultural perspective to ask: What are the cultural logics and practices associated with the growing arena of consumer funding? And, sociologically, which power dynamics are embedded in this economic form? They find that consumer funding is located in a tenuous hybrid position between the market and moral economies, as the platforms that mediate this form of funding and entrepreneurs moralize their business endeavors. Meanwhile, consumers watch for signals of opportunistic behavior, easily switching from moral logics to market ones when businesses deviate from the moral logics and fail to deliver on their promises. In the end, this project details a previously unarticulated hybrid category between the market and moral economies.