Cultural Production and Consumption

About Us:

The CP&C Research Group brings together scholars from a range of disciplines who are interested in processes of cultural production and consumption: how cultural goods, practices and values are constructed, negotiated, contested and promoted by institutions, groups and individuals. With an interest in studying production and consumption 'in the round,' CP&C research is multi-disciplinary and embraces a variety of methodologies. Central concerns include:

  • cultural producers and cultural intermediaries (e.g. in the fields of food and wine)
  • consumer media and spaces (e.g. lifestyle media; advertising; brands)
  • the production and consumption of value and cultural forms (e.g. authenticity; localness; new and obsolete media)
  • consumers and consumer issues
  • cultural policy and regulation.

The group is co-directed by Jennifer Smith Maguire and Natasha Whiteman.

CP&C Projects and Events:

Research Seminar 6 May with Eleonora Belfiore
Who is cultural policy for?: The Politics of Cultural Value

Dr Eleonora Belfiore, University of Warwick, will speak about her research on cultural value. Respondent Jack Newsinger. Organized by: Will Green and Jack Newsinger
6 May, 2015, 4 - 5.30. KEB 322. All welcome.

This paper’s intellectual starting point is the adoption of a social-critical approach to the study of the arts and culture predicated on a focus on the social production of the aesthetic as championed, among others, by Janet Wolff (1983). This stance entails an approach to cultural value that centres on the study of the mechanisms through which ‘value’ is either allocated to artistic and cultural forms and practices, or denied to them, by certain groups in particular social contexts. Furthermore, insights from the sociology of taste, and especially the writing of Bourdieu and others developing his work, have shown how symbolic power operates, and how different social groups enjoy not only different levels of access to different forms of artistic and cultural engagement, but also different access to the power to bestow value and legitimise aesthetic and cultural practices. And yet, questions of power rarely have any prominence in cultural policy discourse, which is problematic.

Against this backdrop, the paper will explore the following questions:

  • How do questions of class, gender, power, and socially stratified access to forms of cultural capital affect the processes for the official allocation of cultural value to some objects, practices and leisure activities but not others?
  • Can we envisage a new form of cultural politics predicated on a call for the redistribution of cultural authority and the power to bestow value alongside more traditional forms of emancipatory politics focusing on economic redistribution?

It will do so, by offering reflections based on two projects I have been involved in over the past two years: the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value – a high profile public engagement initiative aimed at informing policy debates – and a project funded by the AHRC Cultural Value Project that considered questions of cultural value, power, representation and misrecognition in relation to a participatory arts project involving the Gypsy and Traveller community in Lincolnshire.


Innovation through storytelling: Brewery SMEs and the production of added value through stories (2014/15)

The small-scale, microbrewery/craft beer/real ale market has been steadily gaining prominence in recent years. A group of us are investigating how that market is being constructed by the breweries: how small-scale, independent brewers craft a distinctive identity—for their company and beer—and understand their place in the beer market. We use the concept of ‘stories’ as a way to frame the research: what stories are told within the brewery, between breweries, to customers, and between customers, and what role do those stories play in the making of a market. The research is funded by the ‘Innovation Partnership’ scheme (part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and by the University of Leicester). Research team: Jessica Bain; Andrea Davies; Jennifer Smith Maguire; Maria Touri; Natasha Whiteman.

Critical  Management Studies Conference: 8-10 July

CP&C research will be presented at the 9th International Conference in Critical Management Studies ‘Is there an alternative? Management after critique’, University of Leicester: 8-10 July, 2015. Streams of note include: Food and Drink Markets: The Production and Consumption of Alternative Market Practices and Narratives; and Organization & Collaborative Practices in the Arts.

Check out our past events, projects and talks.

Recent CP&C Publications:

Check out other past projects and publications.

Interested in getting involved?

If you're interested in getting involved, please get in touch with Jennifer Smith Maguire (

Please join our mailing list: CPandC on Jisc. This list is for announcements and discussions related to 'cultural production and consumption' and the CP&C group. To join our listserv:

1. Compose an email to
2. Leave the subject line blank
3. In the body of the message put the following (substituting your First and Last names):
SUBSCRIBE CPandC Firstname Lastname
4. delete any email signature
5. press send
You'll be sent a confirmation email from Jisc; click on the link and presto! (Membership is usually confirmed within the day.)


Interested in doing a PhD?

Members of the research group are interested in supervising research that considers issues of cultural production and consumption. Please follow the links to individual members' web pages for an indication of areas of interest.

PhD Studentship: fully-funded studentship for September 2015 for PhD programme, Department of Media and Communication, supervised by Dr Jessica Bain and Dr Kaitlynn Mendes. Applications are invited in the broad area of Media Representations of Feminine Domestic Labour. We welcome research proposals from suitably qualified applicants interested in the recent resurgence of traditionalist discourses of gender and labour in mainstream media. This may reflect nostalgia for an imagined past, as well contributing to debates about feminism and ‘choice’ during the current period of austerity. Application Close Date: 17 April 2015. Details here.

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