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Can Consumers Escape the Market? Emancipatory Illuminations from Burning Man

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  • Kozinets, Robert V

Abstract

This ethnography explores the emancipatory dynamics of the Burning Man project, a one-week-long antimarket event. Practices used at Burning Man to distance consumers from the market include discourses supporting communality and disparaging market logics, alternative exchange practices, and positioning consumption as self-expressive art. Findings reveal several communal practices that distance consumption from broader rhetorics of efficiency and rationality. Although Burning Man's participants materially support the market, they successfully construct a temporary hypercommunity from which to practice divergent social logics. Escape from the market, if possible at all, must be conceived of as similarly temporary and local. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

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  • Kozinets, Robert V, 2002. " Can Consumers Escape the Market? Emancipatory Illuminations from Burning Man," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 20-38, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:29:y:2002:i:1:p:20-38
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/339919
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