Vol. 7, No. 2, May 2006

Consumer Studies Research Network
Research and Areas of Interest, April 2006

Diane Barthel-Bouchier (dbarthel@notes.cc.sunysb.edu), Stony Brook University, is working on issues pertaining to cars and car ownership.

Amy Best (abest@gmu.edu) George Mason University, studies youth, culture, and social inequalities with a particular focus on the intersection of popular cultural forms and youth identity projects. 

Gwen Bingle (Gwen.Bingle@mzwtg.mwn.de), Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany, studies the historical emergence and appropriation of fitness and wellness in Germany, with a particular emphasis on technologies linked to food, cosmetics, movement and alternative health practices.

Sam Binkley (sbinkley@thing.net), Emerson College, addresses the consequences of new cultures of consumption on individuality and subjectivity in advance capitalist societies with an emphasis on countercultures of the 60's and 70's.

Grant Blank (grant.blank@acm.org), American University, studies reviews of consumer products and the arts emphasizing the production process that generates the reviews, the various meanings that consumers attach to reviews, the credibility and ethics of reviews, and the impact of reviews on society and culture.

Keith Brown (brownkei@sas.upenn.edu), University of Pennsylvania, studies the construction of markets for Fair Trade products, focusing on how individuals are mobilized to consume and how consumers collectively identify themselves.

Thomas Burr (tcburr@ucdavis.edu), University of California, is developing a definition of, and some day a theory of, markets as a sequence of interactions between the producers and the consumers of a product by researching the national bicycle markets of France and the United States around the turn of the 20th century.

Gordon C. Chang (gcchang@ucsd.edu), University of California, San Diego, studies the knowledges and discourses constituting consumer society, focusing on their manifestation in U.S. higher education, such as in the phenomenon of college rankings and in the "high-tuition, high-aid" policy movement.

Dan Cook (dtcook@uiuc.edu), University of Illinois, studies children's consumer culture (recently food) with particular emphasis on the interaction between marketing practice and discourse, the construction of children as subjects through goods and consumption and mothers' efforts to balance the two.

Michaela DeSoucey (m-desoucey@northwestern.edu), Northwestern University, is interested in consumption politics, controversies, and movements, particularly around food and foodways, as they connect social, cultural and economic practices in Western consumer societies.

Dominique Desjeux (d.desjeux@argonautes.fr), professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Sorbonne, University of Paris 5, focuses daily life consumptions in France, Europe, Africa, China and the US focused on social practices, material constraints and imaginary (new technology of Communication, health, energy, ordinary goods and services, food, mobility, garbage).

Randal Doane (Randal.Doane@oberlin.edu), Oberlin College, is presently using Foucault's work on governmentality to design a study of urban bicycle cooperatives as a new urbanist, anti-car, anti-sexist, anti-racist technology of the self.

Heather A. Downs (hdowns@uiuc.edu), University of Illinois, studies women and consumption with particular focus on leisure activities.

David Ekerdt (dekerdt@ku.edu), University of Kansas, studies aging and possessions, focusing in particular on episodes of "household disbandment," being the compass of activities that people undertake to manage and dispose of possessions when moving from larger to smaller quarters in later life.

Susan Falls (falls.susan@gmail.com), Tenple University, explores the semiotics of consumerism through ethnographic research of the diamond industry (with consumers), while contextualizing the practice within history, political economy and marketing discourse.

Tally Katz-Gerro (tkatz@soc.haifa.ac.il), University of Haifa, Israel, studies cultural consumption, omnivorousness, material consumption, leisure, and time use with particular emphasis on the way cultural participation and cultural tastes are stratified in Western societies.

Tarleton Gillespie (tlg28@cornell.edu), Cornell University, studies controversies surrounding copyright and new technology, with an eye for how legal disputes mask the introduction of technologically-mediated commercial arrangements, and help reify the dichotomy  between producer and consumer.

George Gonos (gonosgc@potsdam.edu), SUNY-Potsdam, focuses on workers' simultaneous role as commodities and consumers.

Laurel Graham (lgraham@cas.usf.edu), University of South Florida (Tampa), is interested in the relationship between poverty and consumer dignity as well as the social construction of parents as consumers for their young children.

Peter Grahame (pgrahame@comcast.net), Dickinson College, studies ecotourism and wildlife watching with emphasis on the Caribbean context with a key focus on the conversion of the working landscape into a site of consumption.

Michael Haedicke (mhaedick@ucsd.edu), University of California, San Diego, studies the expansion and consolidation of the organic and natural foods industry, with specific interest in how small, independent businesses work to preserve a distinctive character in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Karen Halnon (kbh4@psu.edu), Pennsylvania State University, has a book in progress, Poor Chic: Poverty Fads and Fashions in Popular Culture, which is a study of the "how" and "why" of poverty fads and fashions across popular culture today that make stylish, recreational, and often expensive "fun" symbols of lower class statuses.

Amy Hanser (hanser@interchange.ubc.ca), University of British Columbia, has conducted research on China's emerging service sector and consumer culture, and her future research will continue to explore the implications of an emerging consumer culture for structures of inequality in urban China.

Mary Elizabeth Hughes (mehughes@soc.duke.edu), Duke University, is currently investigating the impact of material aspirations on the timing of marriage with a focus on homeownership and writing a "thought piece" about integrating consumption into life course studies.

Shelley Koch (slkoch@mail.ku.edu) University of Kansas, studies consumption as work, specifically women's work in food shopping.

Lauren Langman (llangma@luc.edu ), Loyola University, Chicago, studies transgressive consumption (i.e., Carnival), body modification and consumer spaces.

Yu Ying Lee (yylee@fcu.edu.tw), Fengchia University, is conducting research on the formation of Taiwanese consumer culture and writing a textbook on the "'consumption of sociology" in Chinese.

Christian Licoppe (licoppe@enst.fr), Ecole Nationale des Telecommunications, France, studies buying and selling at a distance, such as activity studies in call centres and ecommerce.

Lissette Aliaga Linares (lissette@prc.utexas.edu), University of Texas, uses a recent survey conducted during fieldwork to study the impact of supermarkets spatial positioning in street markets customers comparing low income neighborhoods in Lima and Santiago de Chile.

Carol Lindquist (cslindquist@msn.com), Stony Brook University, heads up the Household Meals Project which examines the division of food-related labor in households, including shopping for groceries to understand domestic political processes and balance of power among household members.

Linda Lobao (Lobao.1@osu.edu), Ohio State University, looks at the consumption and production of collectible pottery, glassware, and other collectibles from old industrial regions, specifically the Ohio River Valley.

Janet A. Lorenzen (jlorenzen@sociology.rutgers.edu), Rutgers University, studies situated global consumerism, consumer culture networks and the reconfiguration of status in nontraditional and/or low resource communities.

E. Doyle McCarthy (mccarthy@fordham.edu), Fordham University, is writing a book about U.S. culture today, how consumer culture and mass media foster new "feeling rules" and highly emotional cultural practices, including spectator sports, memorializing, new forms of art, leisure, and mass entertainment. 

Wm. Alex McIntosh, (w-mcintosh@neo.tamu.edu), Texas A&M University presently studies how children and parents spend time and how this affects their consumption of food at home 
and food away from home.

Jennifer Smith Maguire (jbs7@le.ac.uk), University of Leicester (UK), studies consumer body culture (in particular, how fitness and the social value of the fit body are produced by the media, cultural intermediaries and leisure industries) and the cultural economy of style (in particular, how notions of style and taste are negotiated in the production and consumption of domestic interior design).

Robert Manning (creditcardnation@yahoo.com), Rochester Institute of Technology, examines the household lifecycle and the role of credit/debt—especially in the context of deregulation of consumer financial services—as it influences cognitive and behavioral consumption outcomes in the US and abroad (see www.LendingTree.com/livingwithdebt/).

Jan Marontate (jan.marontate@acadiau.ca), Canada Research Chair in Technology and Culture at Acadia University (Wolfville, Canada) is currently studying new computer-based creative practices in the arts and digital imaging in laboratory sciences focusing the place of interdisciplinary collaborations in innovation and the implications the use of new media for culture heritage preservation.

Robert Mayer (Robert.Mayer@fcs.utah.edu), Utah, has just completed a project, funded by AARP, on the advice offered to consumers on how to protect their financial privacy and, based on a national survey, the extent to which consumers are following this advice in their behavior

Laura Miller (lamiller@brandeis.edu), Brandeis University, is working on a project that examines the relationship between the health/natural foods industry and natural foods as a social movement.

Susan Munkres (susan.munkres@furman.edu), Furman University, examines the sustainable agriculture movement, both on divisions within the movement over organic certification, and on the conflict between the "local" and "organic" frames.

Michele Ollivier (ollivier@uottawa.ca), University of Ottawa, is interested in tastes and cultural practices focusing primarily on the various uses of the rhetoric of cultural diversity in the social sciences and in everyday life, especially in relation to arts consumption.

Lynn Owens (lowens@wesleyan.edu), Wesleyan University, examines the intersections and interactions between tourism and social activism, with an eye towards how these two combine to both produce and consume place.

Krista Paulsen (kpaulsen@unf.edu), University of North Florida, is currently studying residential real estate marketing and sales practices, with an eye to how representations of home and community may perpetuate segregation in terms of race, class, age, and family status.

Jan Phillips (jphillip@bates.edu), University of Southern Maine/Lewiston-Auburn College, is currently researching the ways we accomplish or enact family through the routine, recurring work of consumption.

Robert Rattle (at758@ncf.ca), Independent Researcher/Consultant, studies and consults on various aspects of sustainable consumption integrating themes across different sectors with an emphasis on the (social) determinants of health within a population health approach and an ecosystems health framework, with current projects in the following general areas: tobacco, healthy living and sustainable consumption; integrated impact assessment; Aboriginal well-being and non-renewable resource development; and book "Globalization, ICTs and Sustainable Consumption" anticipated late 2006.

Julie Raulli (jraulli@wilson.edu), Wilson College, studies resale consumption, the destigmatization of used goods in U.S. society, and the social, political and economic implications of resale consumption in the context of increased economic inequality in the United States.

David Redmon (dwredmon@yahoo.com) utilizes visual sociology that links the connections between labor, consumption, and local carnival economies. www.mardigrasmadeinchina.com.

George Ritzer (Ritzer@socy.umd.edu), University of Maryland, applies social theory to the everyday realms of the economy and consumption

James Roebuck (roebuck@ag.arizona.edu), University of Arizona, studies the sociology of /sound/ with an emphasis on how class-based cultural preferences relate to the socioacoustic properties of musical genres.

Joe Rumbo (rumbojd@jmu.edu), James Madison University, is currently working on three manuscripts related to my research on how participants in an alternative sociocultural formation known as the Rainbow Gathering interpret the significance of their wide-ranging cultural practices, beliefs, and identity projects with respect to the marketplace.

J. Michael Ryan (mryan@socy.umd.edu), University of Maryland-College Park, studies the social geographies of consumption, the relationship of consumption to new urbanism, and the interplay between consumption and globalization.

Marc Sanford (mmsanfor@uchicago.edu), University of Chicago, researches consumption as a measure of neighborhood homogeneity using grocery store scanner data.

Juliet Schor (juliet.schor@bc.edu), Boston College, has focused on issues pertaining to trends in work and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family, women's issues and economic justice over the last ten years.

Joel Stillerman (stillejo@gvsu.edu), Grand Valley State University, examines embedded retail transactions and the public character of shopping areas via ethnographic analysis of street markets and malls in Santiago, Chile.

Lakshmi Srinivas (srinivasl@earthlink.net), Wellesley College, studies film reception, consumer practices and lived experience, public culture, media ethnography, globalization and Indian cinema.

Bas Spierings (B.Spierings@rug.nl), University of Nijmegen/ Groningen, The Netherlands, studies the social production of consumption spaces with particular emphasis on commercialisation processes in cities and the impact of counternarratives and alternative movements.

Anna Tikhomirova (atikhomi@yandex.ru), University of Bielefeld, Germany, studies fashion and clothes consumption of "women of intelligentsia" in the GDR and the Soviet Union in comparison, in the 1960s - 1980s, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of "distinctions" in the late state-socialist societies with their politics of levellings.

Zsuzsanna Vargha (zv2003@columbia.edu), Columbia University, is interested in risk and calculation in consumer practices regarding finance, the operation of financial markets for consumers, and the advertising industry both as cultural producers and as a trade or profession.

Thomas Volscho (thomas.volscho@uconn.edu), University of Connecticut, studies radical political economy and is working on a Neo-Marxist theory of consumer society that emphasizes the dialectics of interests between workers and consumers.

Jeff Wang (wang1@email.arizona.edu), University of Arizona, examines the intersection of consumption and components of social relationships (e.g., independence, obligation, and responsibility) by studying the phenomenon of consumer debt.

Amelia Rosenberg Weinreb (ameliaro@sas.upenn.edu), University of Pennsylvania,
studies links between citizens and consumers and consumption and migration in Latin America (particularly from Cuba and Costa Rica), and the meaning of consumption in welfare states.

Lois West (westl@fiu.edu), Florida International University, is researching kids and their experience in Wannado City (in Florida), the first role-playing theme park in the U.S.

Frederick Wherry (ffwherry@sas.upenn.edu), University of Pennsylvania, investigates how international tourism and the global market for handicrafts have affected the economic development of communities where most of the residents earn their living directly or indirectly from handicraft sales in Thailand and Costa Rica and entrepreneurial endeavors (artistic and non-artistic) in Philadelphia's ethnic and cosmopolitan neighborhoods.