Print page

The New Consumer Online

A Sociology of Taste, Audience, and Publics Edward F. McQuarrie, Professor Emeritus, Santa Clara University, Silicon Valley, US
It’s a new world online, where consumers can publish their writing and gain a public presence, even a mass audience. This book links together blogging, writing reviews for Yelp, and creating pinboards for Pinterest, all of which provide ordinary people the opportunity to display their tastes to strangers. Edward McQuarrie expertly analyzes how the operation of taste in consumption has been changed by the Internet and offers a fresh perspective on why websites like Yelp and Pinterest have become so successful.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: $125.00 Web: $112.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78471 599 1
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Business and Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Marketing
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Knowledge Management
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
It’s a new world online, where consumers can publish their writing and gain a public presence, even a mass audience. This book links together blogging, writing reviews for Yelp, and creating pinboards for Pinterest, all of which provide ordinary people the opportunity to display their tastes to strangers. Edward McQuarrie shows how the operation of taste in consumption has been changed by the Internet and offers a fresh perspective on why websites like Yelp and Pinterest have become so successful.

Drawing on Bourdieu and Campbell to support his thesis, Edward McQuarrie uncovers what is new online by:

• presenting a sociological perspective on what consumers do online and contrasting it to more familiar economic, psychological and ethnographic views
• reinterpreting Bourdieu’s idea of cultural capital to understand the success of fashion bloggers
• showing how the meaning of taste and what it means to dress fashionably have changed with the Web
• explaining why online reviews cannot be considered word-of-mouth and therefore cannot be understood using that idea
• examining why Pinterest is so attractive to female consumers while relating Pinterest to Walter Benjamin’s ideas about how mechanical reproduction changes the meaning of art.

This book will be valuable to students and scholars interested in consumer research, marketing, and sociology, specifically those who seek an alternative to purely psychological and economic explanations for what consumers do online.
‘McQuarrie explores online consumer behavior from the perspective of a sociologist. His book is a theoretical, philosophical, and at times whimsical collection of essays. McQuarrie's work includes approaches to marketing research as well as marketing rhetoric and semiotics. He offers this multifaceted, thoroughly academic look at a phenomenon of still-growing importance that has had little investigation from a sociological perspective. Summing Up: Recommended.’
– D. Aron, Choice

‘Ed McQuarrie has been a leading light among sociological consumer researchers for a long time, his research devoted to deep and interdisciplinary exploration. This book is a much-needed development of the vast new terrain of consumers' online behaviors. From megaphone effects to soapbox imperatives, from Bourdieu to Goffman, cultural capital to trust, McQuarrie builds on his prior work to provide exciting new thinking to help us understand the radical and important changes that the Internet continues to spur. Highly recommended!’
– Robert Kozinets, York University, Canada
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Prelude: The Borg 3. Essay One: Blogs and the Megaphone Effect 4. Interlude: From Cultural Capital to Social Formation 5. Essay Two: Yelp and the Soapbox Imperative 6. Interlude: From Gaining a Public to Going Public 7. Essay Three: Pinterest –To Make Public the Private 8. Epilogue: The Borg Redux 9. References 10. Appendices 11. Author Notes Index