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Counting the pennies: the cultural economy of charity shopping

journal contribution
posted on 2017-03-20, 11:13 authored by Delyth Edwards, Lisanne Gibson
The Understanding Everyday Participation–Articulating Cultural Values (UEP) project is grounded in the belief that the current system for the support of culture promotes and privileges certain practices and activities, tastes, relationships and competences and that, crucially, this system has effects that extend outside of the cultural domain to the economic, political and social spheres. In order to challenge this dominance, UEP sets out to explore the meanings and values people attach to their “everyday participation”, with the aim of re-evaluating current understandings of cultural participation and cultural value [Miles, A., & Gibson, L. (2016). Understanding everyday participation-articulating cultural values. Cultural Trends, 25(3), 151–157]. This article discusses UEP ethnographic research conducted within a charity shop in Manchester/ Salford. The charity shop is found to be a site fundamentally involved in the “cultural economy”, defined broadly to refer to the relations between the cultural and economic values of particular practices and institutions involved in cultural production and consumption. Existing research on consumption have understood the charity shop as a place of cultural consumption, for certain subcultures that make “clever” choices regarding their identities [Gregson, N., & Crewe, L. (2003). Second hand cultures. Oxford: Berg]. This article argues for an understanding of the charity shop as more than simply a place of consumption but as enmeshed within a set of relations between culture, economy and place which has effects in the social sphere. This research identifies a number of forms of participation, including consumption, but also extending to various production practices, and other forms of social interaction, which take place within and through the charity shop. We argue that these different types of participation are bound up in a positioning cultural system that categorises people, places and values within and beyond the sphere of the charity shop.

History

Citation

Cultural Trends, 2017, 26 (1), pp. 70-79

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Museum Studies

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Cultural Trends

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

issn

0954-8963

eissn

1469-3690

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2018-07-23

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09548963.2017.1275131

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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