You-Can-Do-It-We-Can-Help: Emancipation Within the Marketplace?

Tiebing Shi, Queen's School of Business
Jay M. Handelman, Queen's School of Business

You-Can-Do-It-We-Can-Help:

Emancipation Within the Marketplace?

 

 

Tiebing Shi, Queen’s University

 

Jay M. Handelman, Queen’s University

 

This paper examines the phenomenon of consumer emancipation and the role of the corporation. We conducted 11 depth interviews with consumers to examine their lived experience within the marketplace. Based on Green’s view of freedom as combining both negative and positive freedom centering on concepts of opportunity and ability, we find that consumers can begin a perceived emancipatory journey within the marketplace. This journey does not begin through opposition to dominant corporations, but with their help. Our findings support the notion of Home Depot perceived by our informants as a benevolent emancipator empowering consumers to achieve both negative and positive freedom.

[ to cite ]:
Tiebing Shi and Jay M. Handelman (2006) ,"You-Can-Do-It-We-Can-Help: Emancipation Within the Marketplace?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 370-374.