I'm not a a member of the brand cognoscenti myself you understand. Its all my lovely wife's fault. She makes me go there, once or twice a year. What strikes me is the emotionally contained, polite, yet slightly glassy-eyed demeanour of the well turned-out and multi-cultural shoppers who throng Bicester's boutique-lined high street. Gucci, LV, Prada, they're all there. Shoppers play with meaning as they test brand after brand against their sense of identity. It's a quest for authenticity in a deeply inauthentic setting. And all at allegedly bargain prices. Pulchritude and parsimony: extravagance and thrift. And the psychogeographical effect on one's emotions is overwhelming. I dressed in brands for the experience, and I fell into the group consciousness, like an extra from Day of the Triffids, somnolently wandering from store to store with an air of quiet intensity. When my wife told me a bag had been reduced from £900 to £400, I actually thought, oh, what a bargain. My first car cost £300.
Guy Debord, the arch-psychogeographer, would have enjoyed Bicester Village. It seems ripe for a Situation, a revolutionary occupation. Its fun to imagine this plastic cathedral of brands full of running, screaming, drunken, vomiting, copulating anti-capitalist protesters. Me? I wouldn't have dared to drop a chewing-gum wrapper on the street. No revolutionary, me.
For more information about Royal Holloway, please see this promotional video. To see a promotional video for the MA Consumption, Markets & Culture see here. To see a promotional video for the Royal Holloway School of Management, click here.
For more information about the Royal Holloway MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing and the application process see here.
To get an understanding of the unique values that underly the MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing programme please read these blog posts: Value of Scholarly Values, Importance of Reading and Morris Holbrook and Business Interest in Education.
To see examples of previous students work please click through to see the work of Yelena Sherbakov, Igor Korovenkov, Klara Scheurenbrand, Christina Demertsidou, Liliya Tokmantseva, Hafez Rafirasme, Asya Medvedeva, Vera Hoelscher, Milena Citton, Tracey Wechie, Hector Murphy and Alejandro Gallindo Diego.