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Wii are family: consumption, console gaming and family togetherness

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posted on 2018-10-01, 11:15 authored by Catriona Nash, LISA O'MALLEYLISA O'MALLEY, MAURICE PATTERSONMAURICE PATTERSON
Purpose – This paper aims to understand the relationship between family togetherness and consumption. This is important given the inherent tension permeating discourses of family consumption and a lack of a critical understanding about how togetherness is experienced, expressed and performed. The Nintendo Wii and Wii gaming were explicitly chosen to engage in a more nuanced understanding and to provide a route to access families in their natural consumption habitat. Design/methodology/approach – An interpretive ethnographic methodology was utilised to investigate family consumption in context and used in conjunction with the biographical narrative interpretive method to capture reflective and detailed informants’ consumption experiences. Holistic content analysis was used to interpret and aid thematic development. Findings – Opportunities for idealised family togetherness afforded by the Wii still appeal to family members. Idealised family togetherness is accessed through collective, “proper” Wii gaming but is ultimately unsustainable. Importantly, the authors see that relational togetherness and bonding is also possible, and as such, the lived experience, expression and performance of family togetherness are not prescriptive. Originality/value – Family togetherness is a useful and important lens through which to understand the dynamic relationship between family, consumption and the marketplace. The authors suggest that current conceptualisations of togetherness are too idealised and prescriptive and should be open to critical rethinking and engagement by both academics and industry practitioners to communicate with and about families and to explore how to be part of relevant and meaningful family conversations.

History

Publication

European Journal of Marketing;52 (9/10), pp. 2005-2025

Publisher

Emerald

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peer-reviewed

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This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://ulir.ul.ie. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald

Language

English

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