The Neo-Liberal Consumer Subject

In a political economy increasingly predicated on the sustenance of confident consumer spending and sustainable corporate responsibility, the framing of the consumer as site of ideology, resistance, activism and as basis for social order increasingly prevails. Several philosophers argue that therein lies a discursive displacement from the realms of the political; a shift that marks a transmutation from public to private and therefore a consequence of a reified neo-liberal order. The purpose of this paper is to explore the framing of the consumer within such a neo-liberal configuration. Recent decades have provided a broadening of the marketing concept and recognition of the productive sphere of consumption activity that has lead to an expanded understanding of who the consumer is and a discourse of a modernity predicated on a consumer culture. What is therefore needed within discussions of marketing and development is a critical understanding of the expanded parameters of the so-framed consumer subject. Such enquiry requires investigation into the epistemological problem of framing as well as inquiry into the conjuncture that results in the reproducibility of that framing.


Alan Bradshaw (2011) ,"The Neo-Liberal Consumer Subject", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 27-28.


Alan Bradshaw, Royal Holloway University of London


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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