Women, Consumption and Paradox: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women, Consumption and Paradox

1st Edition

Edited by Timothy de Waal Malefyt, Maryann McCabe


288 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367186128
pub: 2020-05-08
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Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, yet they are largely marketed to erroneously through misconceptions and patriarchal views that distort the reality of women’s lives, bodies and work. This book examines the contradictions and mismatches between women’s everyday experiences and market representations. It considers how women themselves exhibit paradoxical behaviour in both resisting and supporting conflicting messages. The volume emphasizes paradox as a form of agency and negotiation through which women develop dialogical meanings. The contributions highlight the ways in which women transform inconsistencies and contradictions in advertising and marketing, global consumption practices and material consumption into positive practices for living. The rich range of ethnographic accounts drawn from countries including the US, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark, Japan and China provide readers with a valuable perspective on consumer behaviour.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Women, paradox and consumption Timothy de Waal Malefyt and Maryann McCabe

Part 1: Gender engagements, consumption interactions and marketplace ambiguities

1. Women and chocolate: identity narratives of sensory and sensual enjoyment Maryann McCabe and Timothy de Waal Malefyt

2. ‘Shapewear or nothing to wear’: The ambiguity of shapewear in the plus-sized fashion market Daiane Scaraboto and Maria Carolina Zanette

3. Creating interactional alignment in call center customer care Margaret H. Szymanski, Patricia Wall, and Jennifer Watts-Englert

4. Financial technology and the gender gap: Designing and delivering services for women Erin B. Taylor and Anette Broløs

5. Being connected: Mobile phones in the lives of domestic workers in Mexico city Carmen Bueno and Sandra Alarcón

6. Untangling women’s braided relationships with music Barbara Olsen                 

Part 2: Histories of gender imageries and practices in flux 

7. Women under control: Advertising and the business of female health, 1890-1950 Marina Frid and Everardo Rocha

8. Company uniforms and gender dynamics in the Japanese workplace Tomoko Hamada

9. Women’s consumption of cosmetic products in China: Between logistics, conflict and symbolism Dominique Desjeux and Yang Xiao Min

10. Shifts and paradoxes of gender over the course of a career Patricia Sunderland 

11. Little luxuries: Decency, deservingness, and delight Russell Belk

About the Editors

Timothy de Waal Malefyt is a Clinical Professor of Marketing at the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, USA. A trained anthropologist, he has over 15 years of business experience working in advertising firms.

Maryann McCabe is a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology, University of Rochester, USA. She is Founder and Principal of Cultural Connections LLC with over 20 years of consumer research experience.

About the Series

Anthropology & Business

Crossing boundaries, innovating praxis
Both anthropology and business work at the forefront of culture and change. As anthropology brings its concerns with cultural organization and patterns of human behavior to multiple forms of business, a new dynamic of engagement is created. In addition to expanding interest in business as an object of study, anthropologists increasingly hold positions within corporations or work as independent consultants to businesses. In these roles, anthropologists are both redefining the discipline and innovating in industries around the world. These shifts are creating exciting cross-fertilizations and advances in both realms: challenging traditional categories of scholarship and practice, pushing methodological boundaries, and generating new theoretical entanglements. This series advances anthropology's multifaceted work in enterprise, from marketing, design, and technology to user experience research, work practice studies, finance, and many other realms.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General