“Something is missing” : Melancholia and belonging in collective consumption

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Wickstrom , A , Denny , I & Hietanen , J 2021 , ' “Something is missing” : Melancholia and belonging in collective consumption ' , Marketing Theory , vol. 21 , no. 1 , 1470593120937340 , pp. 75-91 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1470593120937340

Title: “Something is missing” : Melancholia and belonging in collective consumption
Author: Wickstrom, Alice; Denny, Iain; Hietanen, Joel
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Centre for Consumer Society Research
Date: 2021
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Marketing Theory
ISSN: 1470-5931
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1470593120937340
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/326713
Abstract: In this essay, we explore the limits of marketized belonging through Kristeva?s theorization of melancholia and desire. This allows us to problematize ?joyful? accounts of societal re-enchantment and how ?belonging? through collectives of consumption (such as neo-tribes, subcultures of consumption, and brand communities) is generally seen as a natural response to modernist rationalization and increased individualization. Instead, we argue that the scholarly understanding of collective forms of consumption has been premised upon paradoxical ground due to the notion of the subject-as-consumer as lacking often being implicitly reproduced, albeit theoretically neglected, allowing for the reproduction of romanticized ideals of marketized ?communality.? We foreground how tensions between individuality and communality are negotiated within markets and argue that collective forms of consumption feed upon separation, fragmentation, and the suspension of ?joy? rather than relationality and belonging. We propose that this allows for a better understanding of the desire to become through collective consumption and direct further attention toward questions related to liminality, detachment, loss, and exclusion.
Subject: ACCULTURATION
BRAND COMMUNITY
Belonging
COMMODITY FETISHISM
CONSUMER CULTURE
EXPERIENCE
EXPLORATION
IDENTITY
Kristeva
MARKET
MARKETIZATION
SUBCULTURES
collective consumption
desire
lack
liminality
melancholia
psychoanalysis
512 Business and Management
5141 Sociology
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