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Consumer Timework

Robinson, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-2083-1568, Veresiu, E. & Babić Rosario, A. (2022). Consumer Timework. Journal of Consumer Research, 49(1), pp. 96-111. doi: 10.1093/jcr/ucab046


This article unpacks time as a cultural consumption resource and introduces the concept of consumer timework. Consumer timework refers to marketplace stakeholders’ negotiation of competing interpretations of how the past and the future relate using a wide range of consumption objects and activities. Building on the theory of temporalization, we argue that social tensions, conflicts, and breaks drive the past and the future apart in multiple incompatible ways that individuals and societies must contend. We theorize four fundamental dynamics of consumer time work in which market stakeholders engage: integrative, disintegrative, subjugatory, and emancipatory. Integrative and disintegrative consumer timework respectively harmonize and rupture the multiple temporal orientations (past, present, and future) to create shared communities or counter-communities of time through consumption. Subjugatory and emancipatory consumer timework respectively enforce and disrupt temporal hierarchies of power through consumption. We delineate these temporal dynamics using examples from extant consumer research. We conclude by establishing a future research agenda on consumer timework.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research following peer review. The version of record Thomas Derek Robinson, Ela Veresiu, Ana Babić Rosario, Consumer Timework, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 49, Issue 1, June 2022, Pages 96–111, is available online at:
Publisher Keywords: consumer timework, time, temporality, time orientations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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