Accepted paper:

The rhetoric of mass-gifting: successful and sustainable giving to consumers in eastern Germany

Author:

Gareth Hamilton (University of Latvia)

Paper short abstract:

Based on rhetoric culture theory and experience with product promoters in postsocialist eastern Germany, this paper considers the ways in which consumers in retail and wholesale stores are persuaded to accept mass-gifts (as conceptualised by Bird-David and Darr).

Paper long abstract:

Based on rhetoric culture theory and experience with product promoters in postsocialist eastern Germany, this paper considers the ways in which consumers in retail and wholesale stores are persuaded to accept mass-gifts (as described by Bird-David and Darr). Taken from the perspective of promoters and their actions, and from that of a participant observer, it considers how mass-gifts are viewed by giver-promoters and the social and cognitive process which are involved in conceptualising giftee-consumers and how they should be addressed in order to gain a sale. Based on the physical environment of the product promoting space, the paper considers the persuasive narratives in moving consumers to accept gifts and to reciprocally buy the product being promoted. It suggests how the successful promoter survives in business in a highly precarious working environment and the role that mass-gifting and the performance of giving plays in this highly competitive field of employment.

panel G56
New Directions in Anthropology