Grudge Spending: The Interplay between Markets and Culture in the Purchase of Security

The Sociological Review, Vol. 0, 1–18 (2015 Forthcoming)

18 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2015

See all articles by Ian Loader

Ian Loader

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Benjamin J. Goold

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law

Angelica Thumala

Independent

Date Written: July 16, 2015

Abstract

In the paper, we use data from an English study of security consumption, and recent work in the cultural sociology of markets, to illustrate the way in which moral and social commitments shape and often constrain decisions about how, or indeed whether, individuals and organizations enter markets for protection. Three main claims are proffered. We suggest, firstly, that the purchase of security commodities is a mundane, non-conspicuous mode of consumption that typically exists outside of the paraphernalia of consumer culture – a form of grudge spending. Secondly, we demonstrate that security consumption is weighed against other commitments that individuals and organizations have and is often kept in check by these competing considerations. We find, thirdly, that the prospect of consuming security prompts people to consider the relations that obtain between security objects and other things that they morally or aesthetically value, and to reflect on what the buying and selling of security signals about the condition and likely futures of their society. These points are illustrated using the examples of organizational consumption and gated communities. In respect of each case, we tease out the evaluative judgements that condition and constrain the purchase of security among organizations and individuals and argue that they open up some important but neglected questions to do with the moral economy of security. The article is co-authored with Ian Loader and Angelica Thumala.

Keywords: commodification, consumption, culture, markets, moral economy, security

Suggested Citation

Loader, Ian and Goold, Benjamin J. and Thumala, Angelica, Grudge Spending: The Interplay between Markets and Culture in the Purchase of Security (July 16, 2015). The Sociological Review, Vol. 0, 1–18 (2015 Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2636561

Ian Loader

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

Benjamin J. Goold (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada
(604) 822-3752 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bjgoold.net/

Angelica Thumala

Independent

No Address Available

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