Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management., 5.4 SOCIOLOGY

Publication Details

Competitive paper presented at Consumer Culture Theory Conference (CCT9), Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, 26-29 June 2014.

This paper was selected for forthcoming publication in Research in Consumer Behavior, Volume 16. The chapters in this volume have been selected from the best papers presented at the 9th Annual Consumer Culture Theory Conference held at the home of Aalto University in Finland in June 2014.

The theme of the conference was Mapping Consumer Culture. - See more at:


The aim of this paper is to explore how young men, operating within influential discursive regimes, construct their identity projects and come to know themselves, through their engagement with consumption and leisure practices. Foucauldian theory is drawn upon to conceptualise men as intertwined within their social environs, the recipients of socio-cultural inscription. By situating the micro-social context of the male consumer in a larger socio-cultural context, this study endeavours to go beyond consumer narratives to incorporate the influence of market and social systems on individuals’ identity work. The two discursive practices explored include: hometown community and Gaelic sport. Findings show how identity projects are subject to the workings of power coursing through social networks. Individuals prescribing to a particular identity become subjected to the regulatory mechanisms of their community. However it is shown how subjectification operates differently in the highly structured community of sport compared to the less structured community of a hometown dwelling.

This sociological perspective on men’s identity practices highlights the dynamic power forces penetrating social communities, in turn showing the necessity for consumer researchers to anchor the individual consumer experience within their influential environment to gain a more robust understanding of consumer behaviours and consumption practices.