Franck Cochoy @ Goldsmiths, March 16th
March 15, 2011
A very last minute notification of an event tomorrow at Goldsmiths which might interest some readers of this blog:
A presentation by Professor Franck Cochoy
CERTOP, University of Toulouse
‘The curious marketing fate of human curiosity: Technologizing consumers’ inner states to build market attachments’
Wednesday March 16th, 4-6pm
Goldsmiths, University of London
Richard Hoggart Building, Room 308
STS has done a terrific job in exploring the sociology of technical devices, but in so doing it has somewhat tended to neglect the properties of human subjects. I would like to suggest a more symmetrical analytical approach, by focusing on some market dynamics that bring “devices” and “dispositions” together. More precisely, I would like to focus on a particular disposition – curiosity – and the technologies market professionals have developed as a means to seduce consumers. The idea is that, more than any other disposition, focusing on curiosity can help in understanding how market professionals and technologies, in playing on human subjects’ inner states, may reinvent their very identity and behavioral logic. I will show that from Genesis to the curiosity cabinets of the 15th-18th centuries, to modern shop windows and the “teasing” strategies of today’s advertising, seducers and merchants have constantly built “curiosity devices”, that have helped ordinary persons to become curious and/or to become consumers. In the process, they have freed themselves from previous action schemes – routine and tradition for example –, as well as coming to behave in patterns very different from those understood according to the more familiar logics of interest and calculation. The contemporary commercial game introduces a real market of consumer drives, where “Blue Beard’s curiosity” ends up facing a real “rainbow market” of competing dispositions.
Organised by the Department of Sociology, Goldsmith University of London
Free. No registration required.