Consumption and repression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Time and again consumer research shows us that people find ways to ignore what they know as they engage in consumption activities that they find immoral, unethical, embarrassing or self-destructive. To put this in terms of Freudian psychoanalysis, people often repress what they know about their consumption. To explore the relationship between consumption and repression, the article offers a reading of Freud as a consumer and a detailed exposition of Freud’s account of repression. The article then sets out two ways in which repression and consumption can work together. First, the article shows how consumption produces material that people need to repress. Second, the article shows how consumption, itself, can enact repressions by allowing people to communicate things they do not want to say. The article demonstrates each of these consumer behaviours through a speculative analysis of Freud’s own consumption practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-379
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014


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