Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An ethnographic study of the actor-networks of novelty teapot collecting
Author: Cheetham, Fiona.
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access through EThOS:
This thesis sets out to examine collecting as a particular form of consumer behaviour by posing the central research question: what is collecting? Using ethnographic research methods the study explores novelty teapot collecting in the context of the first two annual events hosted by a novelty teapot collectors' club. Actor-network theory, particularly Michel Callon's (1986) sociology of translation provides a framework for illuminating novelty teapot collecting by conceptualising the phenomenon in terms of a network of heterogeneousm aterials that is continuously in process. The sociology of translation weaves the assumptions of relational materiality and performativity into four interrelated moments of translation comprising problematisation, interessement, enrolment and mobilisation. Each moment provides a slightly different lens through which to view the networks of heterogeneous materials comprising novelty teapot collecting, allowing us to see aspects of collecting that are normally hidden in consumer behaviour analyses of the subject. The study is unique in that it adopts an actor-network perspective on collecting and consumer behaviour and is therefore able to provide a processual analysis of the subject. In so doing, it makes a number of important contributions to the consumer behaviour literature. First, the study challenges the notion of the centred human agent that is so prevalent within consumer behaviour, for it demonstrates both conceptually and empirically that agency is constituted through the process of collecting. Second, it questions the long-standing distinction between consumption and production in consumer behaviour and provides a vocabulary for describing empirical research on collecting without recourse to such distinctions. As the thesis indicates, this approach opens up possibilities for theorising the value of collectables. The study also contributes to the actor-network literature by way of critical reflection on the problems encounteredin taking a theoretical perspective derived in one field and applying it to examine another.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available