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HMS Titanic, Elvis Presley and Cadbury's Wispa Bar: an analysis of the consumption of trauma

Lindridge, Andrew (2011). HMS Titanic, Elvis Presley and Cadbury's Wispa Bar: an analysis of the consumption of trauma. In: Consumer Culture Theory Conference 6 , 7-10 July 2011, Evanston, IL, USA.

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The embodiment of culture in possessions has been widely documented in consumer research. We argue that this process of embodiment is motivated by an emotional experience that remains relatively unexplored in the literature. In this paper we explore how this emotional meaning manifests in the consumption of trauma through three case-studies: HMS Titanic, Elvis Presley and Cadbury’s Wispa bar.
Analysis of the case-studies reveals that trauma consumption occurs through successive generations being unable or unwilling to detach from previous cultural-historical traumas. Consequently, individuals attempt to reconnect to these earlier traumas through seeking out opportunities to recreate not only an emotional state identifiable with that trauma but also by creating new memories related to that trauma. Supporting these experiences are related organisations that actively encourage consumers to engage in these experiences. In effect, both consumers and organisations aim to create a collected memory around cultural historical traumas.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright Holders: The Author
Academic Unit/Department: Open University Business School
Related URLs:
Item ID: 31376
Depositing User: Andrew Lindridge
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2012 15:59
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2012 07:00
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