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We first explored the Xennial cohort in a study we published in No wonder this group is pushing back, politically, against a status quo that seems to be stacked against them. In the US election, millennial and gen X voters outnumbered boomers for the first time, according to the Pew Research Center. In the United Kingdom, their impact is already visible. From fashion models and comedians to influencers and high-profile execs, women are leading a positive new dialogue about what it means to be a mother. In summer , audiences cheered as Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Mara Martin walked the runway in Miami in a glittery gold bikini while breastfeeding her five-month-old-daughter Aria.

Slick Woods graced the July cover of Elle and also took to the runway for the New York Fashion Week Savage x Fenty lingerie show, alongside another heavily pregnant model. Designer Marta Jakubowski sent a model sporting the Elvie wearable breast pump down the runway during London Fashion Week Model Chrissy Teigen regularly posts frank portrayals of motherhood on Instagram, including one shot of her pumping breastmilk in the car before dinner. Sarah Lacy, CEO of tech news platform Pando, seeks to rebrand working motherhood with Chairman Mom, a subscription-based online community launched in spring that connects working moms and helps them solve the toughest problems they face.

With Chairman Mom, Lacy pushes back against the trope that motherhood leads to a career dead end. But now, insights agencies, research groups and think tanks are starting to ask: what about men? Carl Martin formerly of Burberry and UsTwo launched Menmade, a collective for men who do not recognize themselves in negative, one-sided pop-culture narratives.

Signs of the times: August saw the launch by New York-based Village Marketing of the first Instagram-centric apartment. The 2,square-foot SoHo space, which is decked out with plush sofas in millennial pink, gold and cream leather stools and cushion-strewn four-poster beds, was conceived as a place for influencers to stage photoshoots. The launch was greeted with parody and bemusement on social platforms. Increasingly food, hospitality, hotels and bars are having Instagrammability written into the design brief for creators.

Village Marketing Instagram Commentators in media and social networks are starting to push back. As of November , the hashtag basic on Instagram had been used on over 4. Brands are also pushing back. Some even pay for it. Influencers are. Ideally they need to learn something, make a connection with someone, or get a real value.

I think for people to get out of their homes and pay money to go somewhere—and deal with lines and crowds—there needs to be more in it than a photo. The heavily madeup look is already waning, and we see more of a desire for a fresher, more natural-looking glow. That sort of artificial Instagram look is starting to look dated and inauthentic. Consumer behaviors also increasingly follow this pattern, from enthusiasm, to creativity, to self- awareness.

In a mature social-media landscape, where consumers are more sophisticated than ever, this path has been steeply accelerated. And the brand path is likely to follow suit. But the model has ushered in change, prompting several theater chains to launch their own versions of streaming passes. Instead, these tech giants are zeroing in on creating drama, animation, and documentaries that have serious cultural clout—potentially disrupting the Hollywood studio system. Amazon has also made waves with its original content, developed through its Amazon Studios arm. Apple, too, is making its mark in highbrow film-making.

In September the company acquired the rights to Wolfwalkers, a forthcoming animated film from the Cartoon Saloon, based in Kilkenny, Ireland. Cartoon Saloon has produced several captivating animated features that have been nominated or shortlisted for Oscars, among them The Breadwinner, The Secret of Kells, and Song of the Sea. In the same month, Apple also acquired the rights to documentary film The Elephant Queen.

And given that their distribution model naturally favors their own streaming services over movie theaters, this could mean yet more customers will turn away from cinema visits, at a time when chains are already finding times tough. Digital disruption and new on-demand and direct-to-consumer businesses have transformed every segment from cleaners to the massage business. The latest foray?

The Reluctant Patriarch: The Emergence of Lads and Lad Mags in the s

Amid rising funeral costs, a clutch of pioneering companies around the world is turning funeral services —usually local, often opaque and almost always shrouded in taboos—into something shoppable with clear prices and options. Beyond, a UK funeral services company, made waves in with a series of provocative ads, including one showing a happy couple running on a beach, carrying what look like surfboards.

Look closer and the surfboards are actually wooden coffins. The ad was rejected by London transport authorities but ran online and elsewhere around the city. Some saw the humor, others found it disrespectful. Beyond campaign THE FUTURE 24 In China, a growing number of people are starting to arrange and pay for their own funerals ahead of time, including picking their choice of caskets, urns and flowers. Thousands have signed up for such pre-funeral contracts since they were rolled out in different cities starting in , funeral services company Fu Shou Yuan told China Daily.

In February , Nirvana Asia, the biggest funeral services company in Southeast Asia, received funding from Baird Capital to expand its slate of services, which includes embalming, burying and cremating, as well as operating cemeteries—with Chinese pavilions and koi ponds—and organizing Buddhist and Daoist prayers. Temellini dog couture THE FUTURE 25 Blame those selfish urban millennials and generation Xers who are staying single and child-free for longer, and investing instead in furry companions—the pet economy is booming and extending into a host of new verticals.

In summer , she treated her Instagram followers to a tour of a luxury pet mansion she commissioned for her dogs, complete with air conditioning, a picket fence and a porch. Pet stays have long since evolved beyond basic kennels and doggy daycare.

Similar venues offering upscale facilities can found across the globe, from India and China to the United States. Style-conscious owners can now ensure their pets are as fashionably dressed as themselves. Specially created beers and wines for pets are also on the rise. Wellness services are also springing up as pets live longer, CBD oil for cats being one addition to the market.

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California-based AnimalBiome offers personalized testing kits along with restoration supplements to tackle gut issues. Credit Moncler Noir neverland A desire for mysticism sees designers exploring different shades of black, in search of the strength, wisdom, elegance, sophistication and magic this hue embodies.

Moncler 6 Noir Kei Ninomiya is an all-black collection with intricate quilting embedded onto the garments. Black was not only explored in the fashion world, but also by product designers. Left: Chill Owt collection by Fenty Beauty Right: Glosslab Meta metallics The iridescent unicorn-related aesthetic grows up and metallics are taking over.


Apple leads with the introduction of the hotly anticipated gold iPhone XS, following the highly successful rose gold unveiled in Embracing ocean and garden aesthetics brings together greens and blues for a positive and radiating aquatic shade. Tadashi Shoji used aqua-tinted eye shadows for the models on the runway show. Google released a new aqua color for its Home Mini speaker in October , giving technology a softer look and suggesting an attempt to connect with nature. Now they are shifting the dialogue away from the idea of giving up part of ourselves to a machine—data, images and even bodily fluids— and towards services that are made to smoothly and reassuringly reconcile themselves to the user.

Information is presented in playful, non-threatening ways, complete with carefully constructed imperfections and idiosyncrasies. A kinder rebrand Brands which leverage tech are rebranding, vying for an identity that is approachable, friendly and contemporary. In September , Uber launched a refreshed logo and a bespoke set of fonts which embrace a rounded sans serif. The branding leads with a soft pink palette that is reminiscent of lifestyle brands like Goop.

Softwear by Google. Photography by Thomas Straub. Ikea entered the tech market in with its Eneby Bluetooth speaker, which can be hung up or carried by the handle, and comes with a gray-flecked fabric cover. Audio expert Sonos teamed up with Danish design brand Hay to launch in September The overall aesthetic is human, soft, fun and refined.

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Rather than using primary colors, it relies on a more muted digital palette. Curvy bodies Brands are increasingly opting for comforting curved and rounded forms. When it comes to automobiles a similar aesthetic is being adopted. Facebook, Austin, Texas. Is social media stressing us out? According to research, it appears that the mental strain social media can have on consumers can encompass unhappiness, anxiety and even depression. As part of the program, YouTube introduced its Take a Break feature, which allows viewers to install custom reminders to take a breather from any online bingeing.

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Similarly, Facebook and Instagram have introduced time management features to prevent overusage. Companies offering a social platform are well aware that social media can stress users and are taking responsibility by cracking down on heavy consumption and antisocial behavior, and by educating users with new research. But is this enough?

Cultures of Consumption: Commerce, Masculinities and Social Space (Comedia)

Indeed, from the explosion of audible entertainment to the rapid expansion of key brand formats, from companies including Pandora and Spotify, to a wave of new luxury earphone products and the rise of devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, the ears are becoming a key gateway to audiences. It is also being cross-pollinated with other channels creating media ecosystems.

With nearly more in various stages of production, the brand is also commissioning one and two-person plays, as well as developing audio originals with actress Reese Witherspoon. These platforms also represent a shift toward increasingly mobile-first entertainment, particularly among young smartphone users. The number of US podcast listeners has also tripled since New launches span original podcasts, brand-curated playlists, audio plays and audiobooks, along with live, programmed and user-generated video content, and a multitude of other tie-ups, reflecting the increasingly blurred lines between editorial, branded, original entertainment, and consumer- generated content.

Spotify has begun moving beyond music by introducing video content and original podcasts. In , the company announced Spotify Spotlight, which integrates video content into podcasts alongside audio. With 75 million Premium subscribers, Spotify leads the market for paid on-demand music streaming. Meanwhile, the tidal wave of audiobooks and podcast empires has carved out the smartphone and audio content as new primary channels.

Amazon-owned Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has proposed a new vision for an alternative decentralized, fairer internet. Charlotte Webb, founder of the Feminist Internet creative think tank, examines inequalities and ethical quandaries in everything from racial biases in data collection to the way in which virtual personal assistants such as Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home which all feature female voices reinforce everyday sexism. Salesforce is also looking to hire a chief ethical and humane use officer.

Perhaps the loudest voice in this is Apple. CEO Tim Cook made headlines at a conference of European privacy commissioners in Brussels in October by calling for stricter privacy protections and calling for a bill of US digital rights. Now, more than ever—as leaders of governments, as decision makers in business, and as citizens—we must ask ourselves a fundamental question: what kind of world do we want to live in? What started as media discourse is now being taken on by more powerful corporations and governments as a call to action—and the message is also reaching mass consciousness among consumers.

The first thing it says when you open an iPhone now is that privacy is a human right. Loomia Tile. Loomia is taking a first step towards privatization of data, with a platform that puts consumers in complete charge of their personal data, which they can choose to keep or sell securely. The Loomia Tile gathers and stores information from clothing, such as frequency and length of use, which the wearer can then choose to share with manufacturers in exchange for blockchain rewards.