This essay aims to critique Steven M Kates and Russel W Belk’s journal article entitled ‘The Meanings of Lesbian and Gay Pride Day: Resistance through consumption and Resistance to Consumption”. The article was published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 30 No. 4, August 2001 392-429. The authors explore consumer consumption of and at pride events, and discuss arguments relating to the resistance of such consumption, from two viewpoints – resistance of political stances and a heterosexist society through consumption of such events, and the resistance of consumption within such events.
My interpretation of this journal article is that is aims to highlight the various ideologies of consumption at gay pride festivals, specifically the Lesiban and Gay Pride Day (LGPD) event held in Toronto, (but others are also cited). A brief history of LGBT pride festivals in general is included, whilst also discussing some of the significant events in LGBT history which contributed to the birth of such festivals. The author discusses a number of themes surrounding the consumption of attendees at this event, and presents arguments relating to the resistance – both through consumption and resistance to consumption itself. Many different themes and contexts are used within this article in order to support the discussion, such as ideas of communitas, authenticity and symbolism. The authors gathered research in the form of observation and interviews of 44 attendees over a five year period from 1993 to 1997, to support their discussion.
CRITICAL REVIEW & EVALUATION:
In order to fully critique this article, it was necessary to research the expertise and background of the authors. Steven M Kates, at the time of publication of this article (2001), was a senior lecturer within the Department of Marketing at Monash University in Australia, a position that he left in 2002. He is now working as an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada. He has a business background, completing his under and post-graduate degrees in business administration, before undertaking a PhD in Marketing in 1996. Kates has published multiple works in a variety of academic journals, research books and conference papers. A lot of his research is around homosexual culture, ideas, behaviours and issues. An example of this is his doctoral dissertation “Closets are for Clothes! An Ethnographic Exploration of Gay Men’s Consumer Behaviour” which was nominated for best dissertation of the year at York University in 1996.
Russel W Belk, at the time of publication, was a Professor in the School of Business at Utah University, US which he left in 2006. He is now a Professor of Marketing at York University, Canada. He has an impressive background, including over 550 research publications and in 2017, he was elected into the Royal Order of Canada, one of Canada’s most prestigious research societies (York University, 2017). His work is centered around marketi...