Vol. 12, No. 1, Dec 2010


Join the Effort to Create a New ASA Section
Efforts are underway to create a new American Sociological Association on the Sociology of Consumers and Consumption. CSRN has been functioning well as an informal network of scholars interested in the study of consumption. As many are aware, we have maintained a useful listserv, created a website (http://csrn.camden.rutgers.edu/), published this  bi-annual Newsletter, sponsored two, one-day conferences in New York and Boston, with another planned for this August in Chicago (see Call for Papers announcement in this newsletter), organized and participated in a number ASA Regular, Special and Thematic sessions over the years and have  published two ASA Syllabi Teaching sets.
Certainly quite a bit for an “unofficial” organization. However, it has been felt for some time by many, that a more formal organization will be beneficial.
Becoming an ASA Section will allow us to collect dues (which will be in line in terms of cost with other Sections), have control of our own sessions, have a succession of leadership through elections, have receptions and give out awards (best graduate paper, article, book, etc.).
We need 200 signatures to start the process of becoming a Section-in-Formation, which will give us access to ASA resources and be able to sponsor sessions at the annual meeting. We then have 2 years to get up to at least 300 members to become a sustaining section.
If you are interested in joining this effort, please sign the petition by following these directions:
Copy and paste the statement below and email it to csrn2011@camden.rutgers.edu.
In sending this email, I certify that I am an ASA member and that I pledge to join the Sociology of Consumers and Consumption section as a dues-paying member for at least the next two membership years once it commences.
If you are not an ASA member but intend on becoming one in 2011, it is ok to support section status so long as you follow through and join ASA by Jan 1, 2011. 

If you know others who might be interested, please forward them this announcement or point them to the CSRN Website http://csrn.camden.rutgers.edu/index.htm where information of  newsletters and members can be found, as well as the instructions for signing the petition http://csrn.camden.rutgers.edu/asa_section_petition.htm.
Questions? Contact Dan Cook dtcook@camden.rutgers.edu.

Consumer Culture Theory Conference 2010
Northwestern University, Evanston IL, USA
July 7-10, 2011

Call for Papers

ICOHTEC SYMPOSIUM 2011 - Consumer Choice and Technology
The International Committee for the History of Technology’s 38th Symposium
Glasgow, Scotland, 2 – 7 August 2011
Deadline for proposals is 31 January 2011
>>> more information (pdf)

European Journal of Cultural Studies – Special Issue

Submission Deadline: 31st December 2010

”Cultural Intermediaries in Context: Locating Identity and Practice in the Formation of Value”Guest Co-Editors: Jennifer Smith Maguire (University of Leicester); Julian Matthews (University of Leicester)There has been an increase in research around cultural intermediaries in recent years, jumping off from Special Issues in Cultural Studies in 2002, and Consumption, Markets and Culture in 2004. This Special Issue is intended to move the field forward by foregrounding the issue of context: how does location (across and within cultural fields; across and within societies; across and within time periods) impact on the identities and practices of cultural intermediaries? The Special Issue will offer a timely collection that examines the present understanding of the cultural intermediary, and the materiality of their cultural work in the formation of value.The operations of cultural intermediaries in commodity chains have developed as a recent focus of attention for the sociology of culture and cultural studies. Rooted in the work of Bourdieu (1984), and taken up within discussions of a radically new stage of capitalism (e.g. Featherstone 1991; Lash & Urry 1987), cultural intermediaries have more recently been the focus of a range of studies loosely grouped under the banner of ‘cultural economy’ (e.g. du Gay and Pryke, 2002). This body of research has examined the role of cultural intermediaries in mediating between the production and consumption of cultural goods, and their place more generally within the organization of economic and cultural life. However, attention to cultural intermediaries’ identities and lifestyles has yet to be fully integrated with close investigation of their material practices of mediation. Furthermore, research has thus far focused largely on single case studies of occupations, despite the clear significance of cultural location and context for the formation of value—for example, at different stages within the ‘career’ (Méadel and Rabeharisoa 2001) of a product, or for the same occupation operating within different fields. Thus, the interconnections of various intermediaries operating in and across various fields, and how such cultural work can be conceptualised generally remain fertile areas for further study, discussion and debate.Empirically-grounded contributions might consider a range of issues including, but not confined to:
  • theoretical conceptualizations of the cultural intermediary and the intersection of identity and practice (including the tensions and synergies present in definitions of the cultural intermediary and their work, as offered by Bourdieu and later cultural economy studies);
  • the role of context (including education, patterns of professionalization, class habitus) in the formation of cultural intermediary ‘dispositions’ and the tensions that arise between objective credentials and subjective dispositions, intuition, aesthetic sensibilities and so forth in the performance of authority;
  • the role of cultural location in the selection and deployment of ‘devices’ for the formation of value (including the specific, material practices involved in bringing goods to market, identifying (with) and understanding the intended market, performing credibility—for themselves and their goods—via the mobilization of different forms of capital, and so forth);
  • the ecology of cultural intermediaries within commodity chains (the ‘regimes of mediation’ (Cronin 2004), and the status, relative weight and interconnections of cultural intermediaries operating within the same and across fields);
  • cross-cultural comparisons of cultural intermediaries operating within the same field, and cross-field comparisons of cultural intermediaries operating at comparable positions in different commodity chains (calling attention to the relative universality, or cultural- or field- specificity, of particular forms of value and their production);
  • comparisons of cultural intermediaries operating in the same field, but working with goods that occupy different status positions (calling attention to the question of autonomy for those working with goods of restricted production compared with those working with goods of mass production).
The deadline for papers is 31st December 2010.If you have any queries regarding the suitability of your potential contribution please contact either of the guest co-editors:
Jennifer Smith Maguire (email: jbs7@le.ac.uk)
Julian Matthews (email: jpm29@le.ac.uk)Submissions should be sent electronically as Word documents to Jennifer Smith Maguire (email: jbs7@le.ac.uk). If this is not possible, then please send five copies to Jennifer Smith Maguire, Department of Media & Communication, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.Papers, in English, should include an abstract of 100-150 words, with a suggested target of about 7000 words (including notes and references). For specific manuscript submission guidelines, please go to: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/journalsProdManSub.nav?prodId=Journal200898&crossRegion=antiPod

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