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A diamond in the rough: Inauthenticity and Gems TV

Canavan, Brendan

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This paper explores inauthenticity in the context of the Gems TV shopping channel using existential phenomenology. Objectively, subjectively, and performatively Gems TV fails to convincingly stage a sense of authenticity. This is a televisual format featuring clearcut commercialism, obscure gemstones, and opaque verification. Yet, these and insincere screen performances are not only entertaining, but shoddiness and unpredictability of programming provides backstage glimpses that paradoxically stimulate fantasies of authenticity. Moments of intrapersonal and interpersonal connection arise around viewing. Accordingly, research into the neglected side of the authenticity-inauthenticity dialectic demonstrates that the latter may be, counterintuitively, a source of existential meaning. As such, and troubling established assumptions, inauthenticity might be valued and sought out by consumers.


Canavan, B. (2022). A diamond in the rough: Inauthenticity and Gems TV. Marketing Theory, 23(3), 367–384.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 1, 2022
Publication Date Nov 1, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2022
Journal Marketing Theory
Print ISSN 1470-5931
Electronic ISSN 1741-301X
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 367–384
Keywords Authenticity; Inauthenticity; Staged Authenticity; Existentialism; Shopping Channel 2
Public URL
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