Do consumers really have agency?,

1. Read: Chapter-5 in Barker & Jane; L. Ahearn, “Language & Agency;” M. Sparke, “Political geography: political geographies of globalization III- resistance;” and C. Harold, “Pranking Rhetoric: “Culture Jamming” as Media Activism”
2. In this week’s readings, Christine Harold talks about consumption culture and resistance through cultural jamming and parody.
On the other hand, Matthew Sparke’s literature review piece shows us the pitfall of over-romanticizing resistance and how romanticizing resistance could gloss over the actual issues people are resisting.
At the same time Laura Ahearn from anthropological linguistic perspective elaborates in greater details on the concept of agency. I’d like you to consider how agency differs from resistance; agent vs. actor; does one lose his or her agency in collective movement/action? Also consider the concept of Antonio Gramsci’s “hegemony by consent” and Foucault’s discourse on consumerism and consumption. Do consumers really have agency?

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