SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. REFERENCES CITED

Commercial ethnography has become an important activity for accessing the lived experiences of consumers that are constructed as “others” that firms have to discover and manage. In organizational contexts where the necessity to accumulate organizational knowledge about markets have become paramount, the figure of the “consumer” has become a quasi-magical object bestowed with the aura of the real, a fetish that comes to stand for the market, and symbolizes the firm's effective orientation towards the market. In this paper we demonstrate how the anthropological concept of the fetish may be usefully employed in understanding the nature of this process, whereby the voices and images of consumers are endowed with power within organizational contexts. Consumer fetish is at once a quasi object and a manifestation of analogical knowledge.

 

REFERENCES CITED

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. REFERENCES CITED
  • Alvesson, M. 1990Organisation: From Substance to Image?Organization Studies 11: 373394.
  • Alvesson, M. 2003Beyond neopositivists, romantics, and localists: A reflexive approach to interviews in organizational research.” Academy of Management Review 28 January: 1333.
  • Anand, N., and B. C. Jones 2008Tournament rituals, category dynamics, and field configuration: The case of the booker prizeJournal of Management Studies, 45:10361060.
  • Anderson, P. F. 1986On Method in Consumer Research: A Critical Relativist Perspective.” Journal of Consumer Research 13: 155173.
  • Applbaum, K. 1998The sweetness of salvation: consumer marketing and the liberal-bourgeois theory of needs.” Current Anthropology 39: 323350.
  • Barnett, M. 2005. “Keeping an eye on you.” U.S. News & World Report, 6/20/2005. Pp. 138, EE12–EE13.
  • Baudrillard, J. 1998. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. London: Sage.
  • Belk, R. W. 1991The ineluctable mysteries of possessions.” Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 6: 1755.
  • Bell, G. 2011Big data as a person.” Paper presented at Web Summit 2.0 Conference, October 17–19, San Francisco, CA. Accessed 4 July 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvn_l_Vh3hw.
  • Bezaitis, M. 2009Practice products and the future of ethnographic work.” EPIC Proceedings. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association. pp. 151161.
  • Blanc, D. 2010La fabrique des images, une expérimentation de Philippe Descola.” Connaissance des Arts. Paris: Société Française de Promotion Artistique.
  • Bruner, E. M. 1986Ethnography as narrative.” In The anthropology of experience. V. W. Turner and E. M. Bruner, eds. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
  • Carlon, D. M., A. A. Downs, and S. Wert-Gray 2006Statistics as fetishes: the case of financial performance measures and executive compensation.” Organizational Research Methods 9: 475490.
  • Castoriadis, C. 1998 The Imaginary Institution of Society. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Cayla, J. and G. M. Eckhardt 2008Asian brands and the shaping of a transnational imagined community.” Journal of Consumer Research 35: 216230.
  • Cefkin, M. 2010 Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter: Reflections on Research in and of Corporations. New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Clifford, J. and G. E. Marcus, eds. 1986 Writing Culture. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Dávila, A. 2001 Latinos, Inc. The marketing and Making of a People. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Descola, P. 2005 Par-delà nature et culture. Paris: Gallimard.
  • Descola, P. 2007À propos de par-delà nature et culture.” Tracés: Revue de Sciences humaines. 12/2007. Accessed 10 Februrary 2013. http://traces.revues.org/229.
  • Dutta-Bergman, M. J. and W. D. Wells 2002The values and lifestyles of idiocentrics and allocentrics in an individualist culture: A descriptive approach.” Journal of Consumer Psychology 12: 231242.
  • Du Gay, P., and G. Salaman 1992The cult [ure] of the customer.” Journal of Management Studies 29 (5): 615633.
  • Ellen, R. 1988Fetishism.” Man. 23 (2): 21335.
  • Evans-Pritchard, E. E. 1940 The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Fernandez, Karen V. and J. L. Lastovicka 2011Making magic: Fetishes in contemporary consumption.” Journal of Consumer Research 38: 278299.
  • Foucault, Michel 1979On governmentality.” Ideology and Consciousness 6: 521.
  • Frank, A.W. 2000All the things which do not fit: Baudrillard and medical consumerism.” Families, Systems & Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family Health Care 18: 205217.
  • Frank, A.W. 2000All the things which do not fit: Baudrillard and medical consumerism.” Families, Systems & Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family Health Care 18: 205217.
  • Gabriel, Y. and T. Lang 2006 The Unmanageable Consumer. 2nd edition. London and Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Gebhardt, G. F., G. S. Carpenter, and J. F. Sherry, Jr. 2006Creating a market orientation: a longitudinal, multifirm, grounded analysis of cultural transformation.” Journal of Marketing 70 (October): 3755.
  • Graebner, D. 2001 Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of our Own Dreams. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Grandclément, C. and G. Gaglio 2011Convoking the consumer in person: the focus group effect.” In Inside Marketing. Zwick, D. and J. Cayla, eds. London: Routledge.
  • GuÐjónsdóttir, R. 2010Personas and Scenarios in Use.” PhD thesis, KTH School of Computer Science and Communication. Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Harris, M. 1976History and significance of the emic/etic distinction.” Annual Review of Anthropology 5: 329350.
  • Hughes, P., R. F. Morgan and Y. Kouropalatis 2008Market knowledge diffusion and business performance.” European Journal of Marketing 42 (11/12): 13721395.
  • Jordan, B., ed. 2012 Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments Challenges and Emerging Opportunities. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
  • Kennedy, K. N., J. R. Goolsby, and E. J. Arnould 2003Implementing a customer orientation: Extension of theory and application.” Journal of Marketing 67: 6782.
  • Kohli, A. K. and B. J. Jaworski 1990Market Orientation: The Construct, Research Propositions, and Managerial Implications.” Journal of Marketing 54 (April): 118.
  • Kohli, A. K., B. J. Jaworski, and A. Kumar 1993MARKOR: A Measure of Market Orientation.” Journal of Marketing Research 30 (November): 467477.
  • Leloup, H. 2011. Dogon. Paris: Editions Musée du quai Branly/Somogo.
  • Lien, M. E. 2011The virtual consumer: Constructions of uncertainty in marketing discourse.” In Market Matters: Exploring Cultural Processes in the Global Marketplace. C. Garsten and M. Lindh de Montoya, eds. Palgrave Publishers.
  • MacGaffey, W. 1994African objects and the idea of fetish.” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 25: 123131.
  • Mariampolski, H. 2006 Ethnography for Marketers: A Guide to Consumer Immersion. London and Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Marx, K. 1981 [1884] Capital: Volume Two. NY: Vintage Books.
  • Miller, D., ed. 2005 Materiality (Politics, History, Culture). Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Miller, D. 1987 Material Culture and Mass Consumption. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Molesworth, M., R. Scullion, and E. Nixon 2011 The Marketisation of Higher Education and the Student Consumer. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Nafus D. and k. anderson 2006The real problem: Rhetorics of knowing in corporate ethnographic research.” In EPIC Proceedings. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.
  • Pietz, W. 1985The Problem of the Fetish, I.” Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics 9: 517.
  • Pietz, W. 1987The Problem of the Fetish II: The Origin of the Fetish.” RES: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics 13: 2345.
  • Press, M. and E. Arnould 2011How does organizational identification form? A consumer behavior perspective.” Journal of Consumer Research 38: 650666.
  • Reynolds, F. D., M. R. Crask, and W. D. Wells 1977The modern feminine life style.” Journal of Marketing 41: 3845.
  • Rook, D. W. 2003Focus groups fail to connect theory, current practice.” Marketing News, 37 (19): 4045.
  • Rosaldo, R. 1993 Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Schiermer, B. 2011Quasi-objects, cult objects and fashion objects. On two kinds of fetishism on display in modern culture.” Theory, Culture & Society 28: 81102.
  • Serres, M. 1982 Genèse. Paris: Bernard Grasset.
  • Stoller, P. 1989 The Taste of Ethnographic Things: The Senses in Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Styhre, A. 2004Rethinking knowledge: a Bergsonian critique of the notion of tacit knowledge.” British Journal of Management. 15: 177188.
  • Sunderland, P. and R. Denny 2007 Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.
  • Werr, A. and T. Stjernberg 2003Exploring Management Consulting Firms as Knowledge Systems.” Organization Studies 24 (6): 881908.