Disordering things



In this paper, rather than approaching disorder as a problem, we see it as being pregnant with ambiguity that can potentially be a resource for new thinking and new ‘ordering’ work. We outline ways in which, within the domain of consumer behaviour, we can come to understand just how dirt, which is usually conceived as something destructive, can be productive. We focus on disorder, because in disordering things and in disorder, ambiguity becomes particularly visible, as a problem that is either confronted by mobilising an existing order or exploited to produce new ordering work. In this spirit, we explore ways in which disorder might be seen as suspended order, as destruction and as a state prior to order. In closing, we apply this thinking to the interpretive consumer research academy. We observe that through current reorderings and disorderings actioned in part through practice theory and actor network theoretical approaches, we are starting to glimpse the possibility of radicalising our research agenda once more. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.