The Porosity of the Consumer

Tadajewski, Mark and Higgins, Matthew (2023). The Porosity of the Consumer. Consumption Markets & Culture, 26(5) pp. 325–342.



In this paper, we explore and extend the work of Daniel Pick. Pick articulates the ways in which the political and intellectual atmosphere shapes how we understand human thought. As a case in point, advertising and marketing have been influenced by theories, concepts and empirical materials that problematised the materialistic interpretation of mind. This is most overt in the debates relating to hypnotism and telepathy. To extend Pick’s analyses, we engage with these areas, focusing initially on the issues of hypnotic and telepathic crime, subsequently outlining the activities of E. Virgil Neal. We maintain that it was politically problematic for marketing to enrobe itself in hypnotic verbiage and trace the relevant changes in the language used to frame marketing and advertising discourse. What Pick’s writings and the narratives unravelled in this manuscript illuminate is the conceptualisation of the consumer as a porous being.

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