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Sharing and Gift Giving, Gender, Body and Consumer Activism

‘Consumer behaviour theory is all fine and well, but has nothing to tell us about how consumers act in real life’.
Discuss this statement with reference to the specialist topic area you explored within the workshop programme. (Sharing and Gift Giving, Gender, Body and Consumer
Key points to note in relation to the essay:
1.    In order to answer the question fully, you must provide a discussion of the academic literature in ?the theoretical area you have chosen – you are expected to
build on your presentation work here, ?but to also find additional material.
2.    You are expected to integrate both academic and non-academic sources where appropriate.
3.    Normal penalties for late submission will be in effect, so please plan your travel and printing ?arrangements accordingly.
4.    The word limit is 1200 words (+/- 10%)1. There will be penalties for essays excessing this word ?limit – essays over 1200 words will not be fully marked.
5.    Essays must conform to the following format: Times New Roman Font; 12 point font; Double ?spaced; Printed on 1 side only; Margins 2.5 cm.
6.    Essays should have a coursework coversheet (available from the Charles Carter mixing bay) ?securely attached, and should be anonymous (please state your
library card number).
7.    No extensions will be allowed for the submission of coursework except in the case of certified illness or another substantial cause. Applications for
extensions for whatever reason must be ?directed to Bev Moss.
8.    If you wish to hand in essays earlier please do so, again via the essay box.
9.    The usual penalties apply: up to 3 days late without a verified reason minus a grade (B- will be ?recorded as C-); over 3 days late, recorded as F4 (zero).
Workshop topics and readings
1. Sharing and Gift Giving
Be it environmentally caring for the planet through car sharing or gift giving at Christmas and birthday times, sharing and gift giving are important influencers upon
our consumer behaviour. With this consumption form surpassing the need and desire to consume and own possessions portraying purely the self, offering a consumption
form representative of a collective or the other.
– Key reading
Belk, R.W. (2010), “Sharing”, Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (Feb), 715-734.
2. Gender
Gender plays a huge role in what, where, why and how we consume. However in our 21st century consumer lifestyles are the stereotypes of macho consumption for men and
feminine consumption for women still prevalent and popular?
–  Key reading
Holt, D.B., Thompson, C.J. (2004). ‘’Man of Action Heroes: The Pursuit of Heroic Masculinity in Everyday Consumption”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 31(2), pp.
3. Body
Tattooing, piercing, cosmetic surgery, our bodies are today becoming vehicles of expression in a new and unprecendented way. Consequently, we spend millions annually
to ensure our bodies are well taken care of and presented, making the body one of the core infleuncers of consumer behaviour today in the 21st century.
–  Key reading
Thompson, C.J. Hirschman, E.C. (1995). ‘’Understanding the Socialized Body: A Poststructuralist Analysis of Consumers’ Self- Conceptions, Body Images, and Self-Care
Practices”, Journal of
Consumer Research, Vol. 22 (2), pp. 139-153.
4. Consumer Activism
The dominance of current consumer culture has witnessed the rising of many who believe consumption to be not freeing but enslaving, consequently they actively
demonstrate against consumption, capitalism and the marketplace. However, is society able to continue without consumption? What does such activism mean to consumer
society – is it a real threat or merely producing another form of consumption?
– Key reading
Kozinets, R.V., J.M Handelman. (2004). “Adversaries of Consumption: Consumer Movements, Activism and Ideology”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 31, pp. 691-704.
Course recommended reading
The main recommended text for this course is as follows:
?Solomon, M., Bamossy, G., Askegaard, S. and Margaret K. Hogg (2013) Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, 5th Edition, Pearson.

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