My approach to understanding markets and consumption is broadly critical and inter-disciplinary. The journal which I co-edit Marketing Theory reflects this viewpoint.
I have an interest in the intersections between the marketplace and social inequality. I was Principal Investigator on a recent ESRC funded seminar series entitled ‘Marketplace Exclusion: Representations, resistances and responses’.Seminars covered topics such as advertising and branding, the digital divide, housing, race relations and community cohesion. The series culminated in a theatrical presentation with excluded groups which explored some of the issues raised in the seminars. A discussion workshop was held after the event with representatives from local community groups. In terms of impact we are currently exploring the potential for this performative mode of knowledge production to make concrete inputs into policy formation.Marketplace Exclusion
Food, Family and the Marketplace
I am interested in bringing social and anthropological theory to bear in everyday consumption contexts. Along with Benedetta Cappellini (Royal Holloway, University of London) I have leveraged concepts such as gifting and sharing, sacrifice, abnegation, capital and class to explore the ways in which family identity and mothering are materialized through mealtimes and food consumption. We are currently working on a project called ‘Feeding the Family in Hard Times’ which explores coping strategies in times of austerity. This work has been published in Sociology, the Sociological Review, Consumption, Markets and Culture, and the Journal of Marketing Management. A recent publication which encapsulates this approach is an edited collection on ‘The Practice of the Meal: Families, food and the marketplace’ (Routledge, 2016).
A second project which has recently been funded by a grant from the Heseltine Institute Social Economy Theme explores the issue of food poverty and aims to facilitate knowledge sharing across community groups. The project is called: Hungry for Change: Working together to tackle food poverty in Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent. The project involves partners from Keele and Royal Holloway Universities, we have also partnered with the New Vic Theatre who will be communicating our findings through a piece of theatre. A host of stakehlders will be invited to the final performance thus stimulating debate and exploring possible solutions.
Gender and Subjectivity at Work
I am interested in gender in the workplace and also subjectivity at work more generally. One project here has focused on the ability of feminist researchers working in business schools across Europe to really make a difference. Another project is located at the intersection of marketing and HRM exploring how the brand might be leveraged as an employee management tool to engender employee commitment and motivation (see the Edward Elgar 2011 edited collection Branded Lives). This work has also been published in Gender, Work and Organization and Organization Studies.
Research Group Membership
Marketplace Exclusion: Representations, Resistances and Responses
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC)
November 2013 - March 2016