Positioning consumption: A practice theoretical approach to contested consumption and media discourse

  • Keller M
  • Halkier B
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Abstract

This article analyses the ways in which media discourses become a part of contested consumption activities. We apply a positioning perspective with practice theory to focus on how practitioners relate to media discourse as a symbolic resource in their everyday practices. A typology of performance positionings emerges based on empirical examples of research in parent–children consumption. Positionings are flexible discursive fixations of the relationship between the performances of the practitioner, other practitioners, media discourse and consumption activities. The basic positioning types are the practice maintenance and the practice change position, with different sorts of adapting in between. Media discourse can become a resource for a resistant position against social control or for an appropriating position in favour of space for action. Regardless of the current relation to a particular media discourse, practitioners attempt to maintain their self-positioning of competence when performing. This leads us, as researchers, to caution against any a priori anticipation of the anchoring power of media discourses within everyday activities.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Contested consumption
  • media discourse
  • positioning
  • practice theory
  • social interaction

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Authors

  • Margit Keller

  • Bente Halkier

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