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‘Bringing with us the plague’: Consumer Research as Machinery of Zoomorphism

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This paper explores the hermeneutic argument that Freud's theories created a theoretical blueprint that became determinative of liberal consumer culture, and does so by analysing texts by Ginzburg, Zaretsky, Gellner, and Curtis. With reference to Agamben's work on animality, a theoretical framework is then developed to suggest that the consumer subject that emerges is subtracted of rationality and political ability, and hence is best thought of as an animal. Armed with this theoretical lens, the field of interpretive consumer research is assessed for signs of zoomorphism, and the political consequences are considered.

Keywords: Freud; anthropomorphism; frame; modernity; post-politics; zoomorphism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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