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Don’t Mess with My Milk! The Mystery of Spectacular Mundane Consumption

Humal, Katrin LU and Schönström, Julia LU (2016) BUSN39 20161
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
This study aims to deepen the understanding of mundane consumption by examining
hidden meanings in the case of the Milk Uprising, when sharp decreases in the
availability of Skånemejerier’s milk in Scania, Sweden, in 2009 ignited a major consumer
revolt. We argue that existing literature is inadequate to explain this case where
mundane consumption all of a sudden became spectacular, and that such a case presents
a great opportunity for deeper exploration of the role that everyday consumption has in
people’s lives. We use structuralist sociological theories about the everyday on a set of
empirical material gathered through interviews and netnography, whereas the main tool
that helps us uncover hidden meanings is myths.
Our findings... (More)
This study aims to deepen the understanding of mundane consumption by examining
hidden meanings in the case of the Milk Uprising, when sharp decreases in the
availability of Skånemejerier’s milk in Scania, Sweden, in 2009 ignited a major consumer
revolt. We argue that existing literature is inadequate to explain this case where
mundane consumption all of a sudden became spectacular, and that such a case presents
a great opportunity for deeper exploration of the role that everyday consumption has in
people’s lives. We use structuralist sociological theories about the everyday on a set of
empirical material gathered through interviews and netnography, whereas the main tool
that helps us uncover hidden meanings is myths.
Our findings show that through a number of myths, milk is a mediator of social tensions.
It is closely embedded in the rhythms and structures of the everyday in Scania, and the
disruption of the everyday routine through the removal of Skånemejerier’s milk
conditioned this revolt. Consumers conveyed the meanings of milk through two main
myths: David vs. Goliath and cultural homogenisation. They used the myths to sustain
the sense of local identity and community in an overarching centre-periphery power
struggle. Milk in Scania is a symbol of self-determination, the way of life and the local
identity, which explains why this mundane consumption item was able to ignite a
revolution. We conclude that mundane consumption encompasses more than what has
been suggested to date and merits substantial further attention in consumer culture
theory, behavioural decision theory and branding literature. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Humal, Katrin LU and Schönström, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN39 20161
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
mundane consumption, everyday consumption, local identity, centre-periphery, milk
language
English
id
8878691
date added to LUP
2016-06-21 14:15:55
date last changed
2016-06-21 14:15:55
@misc{8878691,
  abstract     = {This study aims to deepen the understanding of mundane consumption by examining
hidden meanings in the case of the Milk Uprising, when sharp decreases in the
availability of Skånemejerier’s milk in Scania, Sweden, in 2009 ignited a major consumer
revolt. We argue that existing literature is inadequate to explain this case where
mundane consumption all of a sudden became spectacular, and that such a case presents
a great opportunity for deeper exploration of the role that everyday consumption has in
people’s lives. We use structuralist sociological theories about the everyday on a set of
empirical material gathered through interviews and netnography, whereas the main tool
that helps us uncover hidden meanings is myths.
Our findings show that through a number of myths, milk is a mediator of social tensions.
It is closely embedded in the rhythms and structures of the everyday in Scania, and the
disruption of the everyday routine through the removal of Skånemejerier’s milk
conditioned this revolt. Consumers conveyed the meanings of milk through two main
myths: David vs. Goliath and cultural homogenisation. They used the myths to sustain
the sense of local identity and community in an overarching centre-periphery power
struggle. Milk in Scania is a symbol of self-determination, the way of life and the local
identity, which explains why this mundane consumption item was able to ignite a
revolution. We conclude that mundane consumption encompasses more than what has
been suggested to date and merits substantial further attention in consumer culture
theory, behavioural decision theory and branding literature.},
  author       = {Humal, Katrin and Schönström, Julia},
  keyword      = {mundane consumption,everyday consumption,local identity,centre-periphery,milk},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Don’t Mess with My Milk! The Mystery of Spectacular Mundane Consumption},
  year         = {2016},
}