Governing the consumer: Technologies of consumption
Beckett, A. (2012) Governing the consumer: Technologies of consumption. Consumption Markets and Culture, 15 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1025-3866
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253866.2011.604495
One of the recurring themes within commentaries of the cultural economy is the tension between the desire of producers to exercise control over consumers and consumers’ sovereignty. Using Foucault’s notion of Governmentality and drawing on a study of Tesco’s loyalty card programme Clubcard, the paper argues that Tesco represents an important site in the modern cultural economy. ‘Post-modern’ producers like Tesco no longer dichotomise consumer agency and the will to power. Instead, through the mobilisation of the reflexive capacities of both producer and consumer, they seek to frame and extend agency whilst simultaneously attempting to guide how that agency is connected to acts of consumption. It is through technologies of consumption such as Clubcard that agency and consumption are connected and governed.