Keeping fashionable company: ASOS and the collective logic of online spaces

Douglas Brownlie, Paul Hewer, Rachel Stewart

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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To contribute to discussions of the collective enterprise of identity making, we turn to online retail spaces
and to communicative practices articulated therein. We argue that identity does not emerge spontaneously
from atomised market relations, but that collective spaces generate interaction which distributes relations
of belonging intermediated by the virtual prism of digital sharing, in this case around the online fashion
brand, Simpson (2005) captures the logic of studying such online spaces as sites of
collectivity, suggesting that the ‘idea that one may construct an online identity that in turn shapes and
forms one’s ‘real world’ identity carries with it the potential to construct cyberspace as a new frontier in
the mapping of identity’. The corollary of this logic is that identity is itself sustained by sources of social
cohesion beyond immediate market relations. With its street credentials firmly expressed in an edgy brand
ethos, we study the ASOS online community and how it cultivates particular forms of relational interplay
that organize identity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2013
EventAcademy of Marketing Conference 2013 - Cardiff University, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jun 20137 Jun 2013


ConferenceAcademy of Marketing Conference 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityCardiff University


  • fashionable company
  • ASOS
  • collective logic
  • online spaces
  • retail
  • online shopping environments


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