The r/wallstreetbets ‘war machine’: Explicating dynamics of consumer resistance and capture

Hunter Jones*, Joel Hietanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Following the recent #GameStop ‘market disruption’ where r/wallstreetbets ‘rogue’ traders were able to momentarily topple billion dollar hedge funds, we employ Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘war machine’ concept in order to comment on the potential of consumer resistance when matched up against global financial markets. While most extant theory follows the Foucauldian tradition in asserting that consumer resistance is a reaction to power, we use Deleuze and Guattari’s immanent theorisation of desire to make the case for thinking of resistance as primary. Far from a hagiography of affective affirmation, our immanent perspective draws attention to how state and corporate forms are readily able to co-opt consumer resistance. Ultimately, we make the case for reorienting consumer resistance research away from seeking out ruptures and breaks in stable structures of power to asking a more difficult question: how can resistance be organised to avoid capture?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-247
Number of pages23
JournalMarketing Theory
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • affect
  • consumer resistance
  • Deleuze and Guattari
  • desire
  • dividual, finance
  • non-representational theory
  • war machine

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