Communication and Interaction in Markets: An Ethno-Sociological Approach
Tipo di corso: Corso per dottorandi
Valore in crediti ECTS: 1.5
Registrazione online/ Online Registration: http://www.phdsubscription.lu.usi.ch
Dates: 13-30 March 2012, (14h)
13 March 2012: 10:00-12:00 // 13:00-15:00, Aula 402
22 March 2012: 09:00-12.00 // 13:00-15:00, Aula 351
23 March 2012: 09:00-12.00 // 13:00-15:00, Aula 251
The objective of the course is to provide an overview of theory development in the field of consumer research with particular emphasis on the Consumer Culture Theory and with the part of it that deals with the phenomenon of Market Subcultures. A particular emphasis will be given to the communication perspective.
The past twenty years of consumer research have produced a flurry of research addressing the socio-cultural, experiential, symbolic, and ideological aspects of consumption and markets. Over the years, many epithets characterizing these research traditions have come into play (i.e., relativist, postpositivist, poststructuralist, humanistic, naturalistic, postmodern, etc.); they have been recently encapsulated into a compelling academic brand named Consumer Culture Theory (CCT). However, CCT is not a unified, grand theory nor does it aspire to such nomothetic claims. Rather, it refers to a family of theoretical perspectives that address the dynamic relationships between consumer actions, the marketplace, and cultural meanings. In broad terms, CCT has advanced knowledge on communication, interaction and markets by illuminating socio-cultural processes and structures related to 1) consumer identity projects; 2) marketplace subcultures; 3) the socio-historic patterning of consumption; and, 4) ideologies and consumers´ interpretive strategies.
In this seminar, we will focus on the second realm of CCT research: Marketplace Subcultures. Through an ethno-sociological approach, we will address the ways in which consumers forge feelings of social solidarity and create distinctive, fragmentary, self-selected, and sometimes transient cultural worlds through the pursuit of shared consumption interests. Whether characterized as subcultures of consumption, consumer tribes or brand communities, this genre of research builds upon Maffesoli´s pioneering ideas on neo-tribalism. It also cut across the recent developments of marketing theory such as Service Dominant Logic (SDL) by questioning the notion of co-creation which is at the heart of collaborative marketing approaches. Indeed, consumers gathered in communities or tribes can be considered as co-creators of value: they co-create because, in so doing, they perceive a positive outcome from the interaction with other consumers involved in the same activity/passion. In this seminar, we will thus address the issue of the appropriation of value during the interaction process between a company owning a brand and a group of consumers passionate by this brand. Examples abound: Apple, Ducati, Star Wars, World of Warcraft, etc.