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The fool, the hero, and the sage: narratives of non-consumption as role distance from an urban consumer-self

Nixon, Elizabeth

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Abstract

One fruitful perspective with which to think differently about the consuming subject in affluent capitalist societies can be found in the field of non-consumption. Whilst ‘choices’ not to buy, own and use are often tacit in analyses of social class dynamics, identity expression, and consumer resistance, here we adopt the dramaturgical perspective of Erving Goffman to argue that forms of non-consumption may occur within expressions of role distance. Our interpretive analysis of interview narratives identifies three imagoes - the fool, the hero and the sage - that our informants reproduced to disaffiliate from a virtual self generated by participation in the shopping situations dominating many urban centres. We conclude that buying and consuming less in ‘everyday’ contexts may require the performance of alternative, culturally-available personas, and that role distance can signify alienation from a consumer role or, conversely, constitute a defence against actual attachment to it.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2020
Journal Consumption Markets & Culture
Print ISSN 1025-3866
Electronic ISSN 1477-223X
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 44-60
APA6 Citation Nixon, E. (2020). The fool, the hero, and the sage: narratives of non-consumption as role distance from an urban consumer-self. Consumption, Markets and Culture, 20(1), 44-60. https://doi.org/10.1080/10253866.2018.1467317
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/10253866.2018.1467317
Keywords Goffman, imago, narrative, non-consumption, role distance, shopping
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10253866.2018.1467317
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Consumption, Markets and Culture on 30 May 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline....0/10253866.2018.1467317

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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