All 2020-2021 Events Will Occur in Zoom
For the 2020-21 season, all presentations will be held in collaboration with the Southern California Consumer Culture Community (SC4). Email C4 for access to the Zoom presentations.

Nov 6th, 2020, 12:00 - 1:30
Making the Mass White: How Racial Segregation Shaped Consumer Segmentation
Marcel Rosa-Salas, , Department of Marketing, University of Illinois, Chicago

In “Making the Mass White: How Racial Segregation Shaped Consumer Segmentation” cultural anthropologist Marcel Rosa-Salas will offer insight into the American marketing industry’s ongoing role in producing racial ideas. By contextualizing developments in race-based consumer segmentation from the early twentieth century to the present day, Marcel will show how racial ideologies continue to play a central role in how marketing and advertising professionals theorize about the identities of American consumers.

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Dec 4th, 2020, 12:00 - 1:30
Neighborhood Sociality and the Departure of the Marketer
Alex Mitchell (Cal Poly Pomona), Meredith Rhoads Thomas (Florida State), Al Muñiz (DePaul)

This research explores the way neighborhood builder/developers, along with a range of community actors, create and maintain unique forms of sociality throughout the neighborhood development process. Neighborhoods are a compelling and understudied intersection of marketing and consumer behavior, offering insights into important dimensions of market realities. One facet of neighborhood creation is that while builders and developers (i.e. the marketers) hold the central role in early stages of development, over time their involvement diminishes and eventually ends altogether. This type of marketer exit is undertheorized in marketing and consumer research, despite its obvious impact on consumers’ experiences. Through an inductive study of four planned neighborhoods in two distinct geographies, we develop an analysis of neighborhood sociality creation and formation as a polyvocal process linked with distinct social mechanisms. Drawing from perspectives in organizational sociology, we find that marketers work in conjunction with other actors to imprint unique and enduring forms of neighborhood sociality. The research findings contribute to our collective understanding of brand survival and change in contexts in which the marketer’s role diminishes and eventually ends. The article concludes with implications of the findings for branding and future studies on neighborhood contexts.

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Feb 5th, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30
How Gamification Creates Value
Colin Campbell (University of San Diego), Sean Sands (Swinburne University), Hope Schau (University of Arizona), Benoit LeCat (Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo)

Marketers are increasingly gamifying purchase and consumption experiences, particularly online and in apps. Despite this popularity, relatively little is known about the different ways an experience can be gamified, or the mechanisms through which gamification affects consumers. In this paper, we develop conceptual understanding of gamification through a series of interviews with ultra-high net worth individuals (net worth of $30m plus) who have a passion for luxury wine. They share with us over 40 distinct consumption journeys. We analyze this data through qualitative analysis, coding the data and distilling thematic patterns. It might be expected that due to their wealth these individuals seek to increase ease and comfort. Instead, we observe that when purchasing fine wine ultra-high net worth individuals eschew settings that reduce risk and difficulty, instead leaning into challenge and intricacy. We find that a gamified purchase process creates value by building agency and ownership within the consumption journey, generating enduring stories, and paradoxically escalating engagement while also limiting consumption. In addition to developing understanding of gamification, our findings suggest value in creating roadblock, potholes, and detours in the consumption journey.

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March 5th, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30
More Gamer, Less Girl: The Cultural Production of Masculine Dominance
Jenna Drenten (Loyola Chicago), Robert Harrison (Western Michigan), and Nicholas Pendarvis (California State - LA)

Women in the gaming subculture have reached near parity in statistical representation, relative to men. However, a culture of male dominance persists. Extending consumer research on gender inequality, this study offers an understanding of the complex dynamics of socially constructed gendered boundaries and how masculine dominance is produced in a consumption subculture. Utilizing tokenism as a novel conceptual lens for exploring the experience of female video gamers, this qualitative study outlines the process by which tokenism drives the social construction of gendered boundaries through boundary creation, boundary heightening, and boundary maintenance, which then function collectively to produce masculine dominance. Boundary creation works to weaponize a collective identity of gamer girls, boundary heightening works to exemplify pseudo-gender equality, and boundary maintenance works to control women’s opportunities for social mobility within the masculine field. To navigate socially constructed gendered boundaries, findings suggest that women employ five response enactments: self-policing, reprimanding, grandstanding, withdrawing, and acquiescing. The recursive relationship between the boundary construction process and response enactments is conceptualized at a meso-level by what we term maladaptive enculturation. Maladaptive enculturation captures the complex implications that response enactments have in terms of both combatting and upholding masculine dominance in gaming.

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April 2nd, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30
Title Coming Soon
Ignacio Luri Rodriguez (DePaul), Hope Schau (Arizona) and Bikram Ghosh (Arizona)

Abstract coming soon

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May 7th, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30
Consumer Response to Brand Activism Claims in Ads During COVID-19 and BLM
Juan Mundel (DePaul Comm) and Jing Yang (Loyola Chicago)

Abstract coming soon

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This season's events