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Title: Consuming Guinness, producing Irishness : circuits of cultural production
Author: Murphy, Brenda
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis explores the discourse surrounding the consumption of Guinness, the product, and it's advertising, utilising the theoretical structure of Johnson's circuit of culture. The theoretical underpinnings of the circuit of culture have been validated through the process of empirical investigation. This is achieved by interviewing the producers of the marketing and advertising strategies; interviewing Guinness consumers across three spaces (Ireland, the UK and the USA); and by analysing its advertising texts. The circuit of culture enabled me to explore the relationship between the consumption of the product and the consuming audience to see how the product was being used by Irish migrants to restore the imagined space called 'home'. Due to the empirical process I uncovered a rich tapestry of data and discovered issues previously unconsidered. For example, the research shows that audiences in Ireland and Abroad use Guinness as a metaphor for Irishness, Community, and National Identity. An exploration of the product and its signifiers unlocks myths and rituals surrounding it and demonstrates the role of the product and its consumption in the lived experiences of the consumer. Abroad, the exploration of this act of consumption uncovers issues such as racism, intra-racism, hybridity and authenticity. The research contributes in two main ways. It offers marketing and advertising theory a model for a more thorough understanding of the relationship between a product and its target audience. It also contributes to cultural studies theory by demonstrating the process and the effectiveness of the circuit of culture as an empirical tool.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral