– Merchants of Cool and Malinowski on the Kula
(LINK : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahlVBnx66PM)
– The Merchants of Cool is a PBS/Frontline special focusing on research strategies being used by corporate America and illustrates how teenage consumer behavior, material culture, and anthropological methods have converged.
(LINK : http://vimeo.com/16430345)
– Malinowski on the Kula describes the Kula, an extended system of trade that spans a vast cluster of islands called the Trobriand Islands.
(LINK : http://youtu.be/dzc4kUB9ya8)
– Timothy de Waal Malefyt’s article Understanding the Rise of Consumer Ethnography: Branding Technomethodologies in the New Economy”
– Markus Giesler’s article Consumer Gift Systems. Discuss the socio-political implications of consumer research with special attention to concerns of technological changes in social interaction and consumer social relationships
Please answer the following prompts:
1.What are some of the implications of large bodies of data about human behavior that are bought and sold as products rather than made public?
2.Ruskoff, in Merchants of Cool, calls advertisers and marketers colonizers of youth. Do you agree? Explain.
3.How have anthropological methods and analyses changed since Malinowski’s fieldwork with the Trobiand islanders? How does Giesler’s research of reciprocity via Napster’s music sharing site compare with the Kula?
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