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Possession work on hosted digital consumption objects as consumer ensnarement.

Molesworth, M., Watkins, R. and Denegri-Knott, J., 2016. Possession work on hosted digital consumption objects as consumer ensnarement. Advances in Consumer Research, 1 (2), 246-261.

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JACR%20final%20version.pdf - Accepted Version
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DOI: 10.1086/685474


This paper extends prior critical discussions of digital prosumption by demonstrating that prosumer reliant online business models represent new ways to valorise consumer labour through the creation of multiple realities whereby digital consumption objects are simultaneously enacted as assests by companies, and as possessions by consumers. We argue that this ontological multiplicity means that consumers’ ‘possession work’ no longer serves to separate these objects from the market sphere, as in prior work. This produces a new form of consumer lock-in, or actually ensnarement as it is consumers’ own efforts to make objects meaningful that keep them in the market, similar to the psychological attachments seen in ‘brand love’, but also incorporating aspects of proprietary tie-ins, and access-based market systems. We further consider the implications of such a system. For companies we portray such ensnarement as an attractive, emerging mechanism for ongoing valorization of ‘free labour’. Yet we also argue that this presents significant consequences for ensnared consumers who may be subject not only to the ongoing financial exploitation of their possession work, but also restrictions on possession. As a broader contribution we highlight how the examination of multiple, potentially conflicting,

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:22752
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:26 Oct 2015 14:28
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:53


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