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.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Psychogeography of Bicester Brand Village

In these times of heightened political consciousness, economic implosion and hand-wringing pessimism, I think it might be helpful to contribute a blog entry focusing on triviality and self-indulgence. So, I decided to write about my recent trip to the ersatz world of Bicester luxury brand Village. The full article is here

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.  



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