Representations in Consumer Research

Representations In Consumer Research


Domesticating the Indian Imagination

Julien Cayla, Australian Graduate School of Management

Lisa Peñaloza, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado



Marketers are selective in picking up consumer differences that lend themselves to representation and incorporation. In India, marketers’ assumptions about Indian identity leads to pan-Indian representations that exclude most religious minorities. In advertising and other arenas of the public sphere, representations that conflate Hindu and Indian identities have become prevalent. This paper problematizes the construction and reception of these representations: how do Muslim viewers respond to representations that implicitly associate Indian tradition with Hinduism? This paper relies on extensive ethnographic fieldwork to examine how marketers cast their audience and how Muslim Indians correspondingly position themselves as consumers.


Representing the Islamist Consumer: Transformation of the Market

Ozlem Sandikci and Guliz Ger, Bilkent University



While there is a wealth of literature dealing with the nature and politics of stereotypical representations in advertising, there is little on how stereotypes are created and transformed as a result of social, cultural, political and economic factors.  This ethnographic study looks at how marketers in Turkey construct and represent the Islamist women in advertising and other commercial imagery, what assumptions are embodied in these representations, and how these representations and the market agents themselves are transformed as a result of the local and global forces of consumerism and capitalism.



Consumer Representation: The Age Of Database Marketing

Detlev Zwick and Jacline Nyman, York University.


The representational logic of database marketing is discussed for its theoretical and managerial implications. The authors take a poststructuralist approach to conceptualize databases as language that responds to the challenges of modern marketing to manage an increasingly mobile and invisible consumer by transforming consumer bodies into digital data subjects. On a theoretical level, the ubiquitous information gathering and analysis enabled by the database turns mutable and complex consumer practices, indeed life itself, into value. Finally, the authors propose the metaphor of laboratory marketing to capture the fundamentally new modus operandi made possible by data-driven marketing.


Session Chair: Julien Cayla and Discussion Leader: Fuat Firat (2006) ,"Representations in Consumer Research", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 458-461.


Session Chair: Julien Cayla, Australian Graduate School of Management
Discussion Leader: Fuat Firat, University of Southern Denmark


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33 | 2006

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