The awards committee of the ASA Section on Consumers and Consumption is extremely pleased to announce this that year’s recipient of the section’s Distinguished Scholarly Publication is Erin Metz McDonnell, Kellogg Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Notre Dame.
McDonnell’s article, “Budgetary Units: A Weberian Approach to Consumption,” published in American Journal of Sociology, brings back into sociological attention the “budgetary unit” as Weber’s primary ideal type social organization for consumption. Budgetary units focus on the social unit, rather than the individual, as a primary site of consumption. This enables researchers to sociologically examine consumption, not just as individual behavior in market spaces and identity signaling to strangers, but as an ongoing negotiation among budgetary unit members that precedes and transcends any given retail purchase. Budgetary units thereby intervene in the consumption literature by focusing on how “relatively durable social units make consumption decisions in which multiple actors simultaneously seek to have desires met, and status accumulation is but one social motivation among many.” McDonnell raises questions of far-reaching sociological importance, including how socially organized consumption mediates the relationship of individual to the market, accentuating or attenuating disparities.
Committee Chair: John Lang, Occidental College
Committee Members: Janet Lorenzen, Willamette University; Richard Ocejo, CUNY