Little Monsters: (de)coupling Assemblages of Consumption

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Helene Brembeck, Karin M. Ekström, Magnus Mörck
LIT Verlag Münster, 2007 - Social Science - 183 pages
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This book is about stories of consumption beyond the culture - economy divide. By bringing along Actor Network Theory, entities that in conventional approaches are taken for granted, such as consumers, goods and companies proves to be unstable assemblages of humans, goods and technologies. We meet materialistic children and parents creating an intimate moment at McDonald's, car poolers trying to get out of the grip of individual transportation, young couples imagining a home in that odd reversal of private space, the furniture store and grown men practicing a hobby so close to childhood that it causes unease. These, and other examples, line that up as our monsters, ready to act out the drama. Considering that actor-network theory has its roots in narratology of Algirdas Greimas (1917-1992), what better use can one imagine for it than its application to the tales of consumption. In the best ANT-ian style, the book refuses to label people, things and phenomena with the received names. The message is: wait until the end of the story to see whether or not a big company wins over small consumers, or if behind a bewitching trademark hides a good fairy or a wicked witch. This collection challenges most of the common places about consumption, production, markets and consumers.

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