The Interrupted World : Surrealist disruption and altered escapes from reality

Jones, Scott and Cronin, James and Piacentini, Maria (2020) The Interrupted World : Surrealist disruption and altered escapes from reality. Marketing Theory, 20 (4). pp. 459-480. ISSN 1470-5931

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Following Breton’s writings on surreality, we outline how unexpected challenges to consumers’ assumptive worlds have the potential to alter how their escape from reality is experienced. We introduce the concept of “surrealist disruption” to describe ontological discontinuities that disrupt the common-sense frameworks normally used by consumers, and that impact upon their ability to suspend their disbeliefs and experience self-loss. To facilitate our theorization, we draw upon interviews with consumers about their changing experiences as viewers of the realist-political TV-drama House of Cards against a backdrop of disruptive real-world political events. Our analyses reveal that, when faced with a radically-altered external environment, escape from reality changes from a restorative, playful experience to an uneasy, earnest one characterized by hysteretic angst, intersubjective sense-making and epistemological community-building. This reconceptualizes escapism as more emotionally multi-valenced than previously considered in marketing theory and reveals consumers’ subject position to an aggregative social fabric beyond their control.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Marketing Theory
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Marketing Theory, 20 (4), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Marketing Theory page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? assumptive worldsbinge-watchingbretonescapismrealismsurrealitysuspension of disbeliefmarketing ??
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01 Apr 2020 08:55
Last Modified:
18 Apr 2024 00:47