Mario Campana is a Lecturer in Marketing and director of the BSc Marketing at the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London.

He completed his PhD in Consumer Research at Cass Business School – City, University of London. His research interests lie in the fields of consumer entrepreneurship, consumption of money, LGBTQ+ stigma and materiality. His approach is rooted in Consumer Culture with a macro perspective that is also reflected in his teaching practice and interests. His research has been published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies and Journal of Macromarketing.

Mario shared his research into RuPaul’s Drag Race and the spectacularisation of stgma the third MRSpride event, an alliance with &more, in February 2020.

I wish someone had told me at the beginning of my career about the importance for an academic of taking time for writing and conducting research every day. As you start as a lecturer/researcher at university everything is very new. You need to find your own identity as an academic while you juggle teaching, university admin and research. To be fair, they told me to take the time to conduct research every day. However sometimes priorities can get mixed up J

I have several academics whose work I admire. I admire the ethnographic work by Daniel Miller, professor of Anthropology at UCL, on the usage of social media around the world. I also love his classic work on materiality within A Theory of Shopping. I also admire the work by Bruno Latour, a French sociologist, about technology and Actor Network Theory. I found the construction of this theory very fascinating. And of course, I admire the work by Judith Butler on performativity of gender and the impact that her thinking had worldwide on queer theory and culture. This is also what inspired the Drag Race project on which I am currently working. One day I hope that one of my research projects could have such a big impact.

A future-fit research world will help us to understand the inequality of individuals in the present and to envisage how to solve these inequalities in the future.

My resilience tip for when times get tough is: always think that there have been worse times or at least there are some silver linings on which I can anchor myself to go through rough times.

The most amazing or memorable experience when I was doing research was during my PhD. I was conducting ethnography in Brixton focusing on a local currency, the Brixton Pound. As part of the research project, I was volunteering for the Brixton Pound organization, and during the weekend we were raising awareness about the Brixton Pound within Brixton Market. I had the chance to meet many local people there. I got to know more about Brixton’s history, the riots, the Windrush generation, the market, the neighbourhood gentrification and much more. It was such a formative experience beyond the purpose of the research.

I’m not sure if there is a story I’ve always wanted to tell but never had a chance! My memory is either short or erases the stories I do not want to tell J

A research project I wish I had worked on is the one initiated by Daniel Miller called Why We Post. I find the mapping of a specific type of emergent consumption practice across different countries and cultures very interesting.

To me, great leadership looks like leading by example. I think that leading by example is a very powerful model of leadership. Doing something and showing what is possible can help people to visualise the goal to achieve.

The main challenge in building a more inclusive world is acknowledging our limitations in fully understanding diversity and acting upon them. I think that knowing more about how diversity (of ethnicity, of gender and of income) has been constructed historically and how we are socialised into it, already as children, can also help us to envisage ways in which the world can be more inclusive. A great example is the awareness that the Black Lives Matter movement generated recently, also in relation to lives of transgender people of colour, and how people have started to reconsider their behaviour. Reconsidering and modifying our behaviour as individuals are ways in which we can start to create a more inclusive word.

If I wasn’t doing this, I would be a bookshop owner. At a point I had the idea of opening my own bookshop, with an annexed Friends-styled coffee house. People could get their books and drink coffee at the same time. I know… revolutionary!


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