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:

The Question of ‘Alternatives’ within Food and Drink Markets and Marketing

Call for papers: Special Issue of the Journal of Marketing Management. The closing date for submission is 31 May 2016.

Relevant contributions include but are not limited to such topics as:
•How are alternative food/drink markets and market practices represented through marketing communications?
•How are alternative food/drink markets performed by market actors?
•How is marketing understood and practiced within alternative food/drink markets, and how does this compare with conventional marketing practices?
•How is the relationship between ‘alternative’ and ‘mainstream’ food/drink markets articulated, negotiated and contested?
•What does a marketing as practice approach offer to the study of alternative food/drink markets?

Please see the call for papers for details, including contact details for the editors.

Coming Up: Research Talk

Agatha Herman (University of Reading) will be giving a talk on 9 March. Details TBC.

The Power of Fairtrade: development and empowerment in South African wine producer communities

The role of Fairtrade in supporting inclusive development is increasingly asserted (UNDP, 2012) and yet simultaneously there are growing critiques in the media as to its actual impacts and utility, and continuing conceptual and empirical gaps in the academic literatures on Fairtrade’s development effects.  Using qualitative methods, my research explores and analyses the socio-economic development and capacity-building impacts of Fairtrade in wine producer communities in South Africa.  While social development is apparent within these communities, this does not necessarily equate with empowerment.  Drawing on fieldwork conducted in 2015, the politics and tensions within the system – both at the farm level and more broadly within the global Fairtrade governance networks – emerge, suggesting an ongoing need for education, skills transfer, governance changes and greater transparency and feedback.  While Fairtrade does foster an environment in which changes in agency and capabilities are possible, the small scale of its operation, and barriers to entry, limits its capacity for national impact across South Africa.

Sustainable Production and Consumption in Food and Fashion: Management and Social Science as Agents of Innovation.

This one-day workshop (24 September 2015) was organized by Jennifer Smith Maguire and Maria Touri, and was made possible through funding from the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and the University of Leicester's School of Management and Department of Media and Communication.

Sustainability presupposes a balance between peoples’ present and future needs, and environmental and social capacity to meet those needs, and this sits in awkward tension with the global capitalist regimes of production and consumption. Food and fashion are critical examples of this tension. Despite high-profile campaigns around sustainable, ethical and organic consumer goods, it is still the case that 1.2 million tonnes of clothing and textile waste, and 18 million tonnes of food waste end up in UK landfills each year. Sustainability requires innovative changes in the ways producers and consumers think about and act on needs and desires. For this reason, the workshop’s overarching aim was to foster participatory communication: a critical, collaborative and multi-perspectival approach to understanding and changing dominant meanings and practices around sustainability in the food and fashion markets. Read about the event here and here, and watch the keynote presentations from Kate Fletcher, Steffen Böhm, Ian Cook and Mike Goodman.

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 CP&C group investigated 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 used 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 was funded by the ‘Innovation Partnership’ scheme (part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and by the University of Leicester). You can read about the findings here. Research team: Jessica Bain; Andrea Davies; Jennifer Smith Maguire; Maria Touri; Natasha Whiteman.

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.

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