Deconstructing consumer discipline : how self-management is experienced in the marketplace

Cronin, James and McCarthy, Mary and Delaney, Mary (2015) Deconstructing consumer discipline : how self-management is experienced in the marketplace. European Journal of Marketing, 49 (11-12). pp. 1902-1922. ISSN 0309-0566

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to build an understanding of what we term “consumer discipline” by unpacking the practices and strategies by which people manage and exert control over what they consume. This is facilitated by looking at the context of food, an everyday necessity imbued with sizeable importance in terms of its impact on personal well-being, and how it is experienced by individuals who must manage the constraints of a chronic illness. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the Foucauldian concept of governmentality and theories surrounding the social facilitation of self-management, this paper analyses interviews with 17 consumers diagnosed with diabetes or coronary heart disease. Findings – By exploring how the chronically ill generate different strategies in managing what they eat and how they think about it; this paper outlines four analytical areas for which to continue the discussion of how consumption is disciplined and its conceptualisation in marketing and health-related research: “the Individual”, “the Other”, “the Market”, and “the Object”. Practical implications – The results signal to policy makers the aspects of health promotion that can be enhanced in order to improve self-management amongst consumers in the pursuit of well-being. Originality/value – This paper makes two contributions: it conceptualises consumer discipline as a practice that involves self-control but also comprises the capabilities to self-manage one’s identity and relationships through leveraging personal and social strategies across various contexts; and it identifies macro influences such as the market as negotiable powers that can be contested or resisted to help assist in one’s self-management.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
European Journal of Marketing
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This article is (c)2015 Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? consumptionfoucaultdisciplinegovernmentalityhealth foodmarketing ??
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Deposited On:
09 Jul 2015 15:54
Last Modified:
20 Jun 2024 00:21