Working Consumers: The Next Step in Marketing Theory?
In marketing and consumer research, consumers have been increasingly theorised as producers. However, these theorisations do not take all facets of consumers’ productive role into account. This paper mobilises both post-Marxist economics and post-Maussian socio-economics to develop the concept of working consumer. This concept depicts consumers who, through their immaterial labour, add cultural and affective value to market offerings. In so doing consumers increase the value of market offerings, although they usually work at the primary level of sociality (interpersonal relationships) and are therefore beyond producers’ control. However, given certain conditions, companies capture such a value when it enters the second level of sociality (the market). The concept of the working consumer summarises and enriches extant approaches to consumer (co)production, while challenging right-minded developments, such as the service-dominant (S-D) logic in marketing, which try to create/construct an ethereal marketscape in which consumers and producers live in harmony.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Marketing Theory 3.9(2009): pp. 315-339|
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