Selected Published Journal Articles
Epp, A., & Velagaleti, S. (2014). Outsourcing Parenthood? How Families Manage Care Assemblages Using Paid Commercial Services.
Journal of Consumer Research
Parents are outsourcing an expanding array of care practices to the marketplace (e.g., planning birthday parties, teaching children how to ride a bike, instructing kids about the birds and the bees). Sociologists document a care deficit, resulting from dual-earner households, distance from extended family, and consumerism, to account for outsourcing. These studies, as well as those in consumer research, however, focus almost exclusively on daycare or eldercare decisions. As such, we know little about how parents decide what is acceptable to outsource in a marketplace where an expanding range of caregiving practices are “for hire” and where definitive cultural discourses are absent. Based on depth interviews with 23 families, our analysis uncovers complex care assemblages that are shaped by tensions of control, intimacy, and substitutability. The resulting framework explains parents’ strategies for minimizing outsourcing tensions and challenges what we know about the relationship between the marketplace and family life.
Epp, A., Jensen Schau, H., & Price, L. (2014). The Role of Brands and Mediating Technologies in Assembling Long-Distance Family Practices. Journal of Marketing (78), 81-101.
Epp, A., & Price, L. (2011). Family Time in Consumer Culture: Implications for Transformative Consumer Research.
Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being
In this chapter, we use family time metaphors adapted from Cotte et al. (2004) as an organizing framework to provide an explicit cultural, social, and temporal frame for understanding contemporary families’ experience of family time. We posit that families, like individuals, employ a range of metaphors for thinking about time, and in turn, these metaphors empower, constrain, and frame the role of consumption in pursuit of family time and well-being. We draw on our own research and that of others to unfold how these idealizations and metaphors structure both family and policy meanings and practices and to uncover tensions that can be addressed through Transformative Consumer Research (TCR).
This book is part of the Transformative Consumer Research is a movement initiated in 2005 at the Association for Consumer Research.
Epp, A., & Price, L. (2011). Designing Solutions around Customer Network Identity Goals.
Journal of Marketing
Because companies fail to account for collective and relational goals in customer solutions, there is often a mismatch between firms’ solutions and those customers envisioned. Understanding customer networks’ integration processes is essential to improving solution design. This investigation draws on depth interviews with 21 families, our focal customer network, to generate collective and relational narratives that contextualize their accounts. The authors identify four customer network integration processes: assemble offerings around prioritized goals, alternate participation, concurrent participation, and assemble offerings around separate coalitions. Further, findings reveal that the resulting mix of integrated products and services, labeled the solution, is shaped by customer network identity goals, goal management approaches, and constraints. The authors conclude with recommendations for how firms can use this information to improve solution design, identify new network partners, and revise value propositions.
(75), 36-54. doi: 10.1509/jmkg.75.2.36.
Epp, A., & Price, L. (2010). The Storied Life of Singularized Objects: Forces of Agency and Network Transformation. Journal of Consumer Research
(36), 820-37. doi: 10.1086/603547.
Thompson, B., Koenig Kellas, J., Soliz, J., Thompson, J., Epp, A., & Schrodt, P. (2009). Family Legacies: Constructing Individual and Family Identity through Intergenerational Storytelling. Narrative Inquiry
(19), 106-134. doi: 10.1075/ni.19.1.07tho.
Epp, A., & Price, L. (2008). Family Identity: A Framework of Identity Interplay in Consumption Practices. Journal of Consumer Research
(35), 50-70. doi: 10.1086/529535.
Arnould, E., & Epp, A. (2006). Deep Engagement with Consumer Experience: Listening and Learning with Qualitative Data. The SAGE Handbook of Marketing Research