Can Consumers Escape the Market? Emancipatory Illuminations from Burning Man

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Citation: Robert V. Kozinets (2002) Can Consumers Escape the Market? Emancipatory Illuminations from Burning Man. Journal of Consumer Research (Volume 29) (RSS)
DOI (original publisher): 10.1086/339919
Semantic Scholar (metadata): 10.1086/339919
Sci-Hub (fulltext): 10.1086/339919
Internet Archive Scholar (fulltext): Can Consumers Escape the Market? Emancipatory Illuminations from Burning Man
issn:
Download: http://www.sfu.ca/media-lab/archive/2007/428/Resources/articles%20for%20presentations/Kozinets BurningMan.pdf
Tagged: Anthropology (RSS) Burning Man (RSS), anthropology (RSS), consumer emancipation (RSS), activism (RSS), TAZ (RSS)

Summary (Abstract)

This ethnography explores the emancipatory dynamics of the Burning Man project, a one-week long anti-market event. Practices used at Burning Man to distance consumers from the market include discourses supporting communality and disparaging market logics, alternative exchange practices, and positioning consumption as self-expressive art. Findings reveal several communal practices that distance consumption from broader rhetorics of efficiency and rationality. Although Burning Man’s participants materially support the market, they successfully construct a temporary hypercommunity from which to practice divergent social logics. Escape from the market, if possible at all, must be conceived of as similarly temporary and local.