Drawing upon literary theory, play and consumer resistance literature, we conceptualize consumer parodic resistance – a resistant form of play that critically refunctions dominant consumption discourses and marketplace ideologies. We explore parodic resistance empirically by analyzing Festivus, a parody of Christmas. Festivus is found to be primarily constructed as a playful rejection of the established grand narratives and conventions of Christmas. In contrast to dominant Christmas ideology, Festivus promotes a grand narrative of “meaningful nothingness,” wherein Festivus celebration is presented a viable means of circumventing the oppressiveness of Christmas (i.e. “meaningful”) through erasing the higher goals and conventions if Christmas (i.e. “nothingness”). Our contribution is threefold: (i) we demonstrate the role of parody in consumer resistance; (ii) we outline the subversively playful nature of parodic consumer resistance; and (iii) we empirically demonstrate how parodic holiday celebration unsettles dominant discourses and conventions.
Consumption, Markets and Culture, 2013, Vol 16, Issue 4, p. 311-337