The dynamics of teleoaffective configuration in practice adaptation

Fiona Spotswood, James Steele, Patroklos Androulakis-Korakakis, Alex Lucas

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Extant consumer research interested in disruption and adaptation to routines undertheorizes the role of 'meanings' in adaptation processes, which are implicated as obstacles, or understood as adjustable to achieve adaptation. Practice theory foregrounds the dynamics of practices and their elements as shaping practice transition. From this, we explore and theorize meanings in practice adaptation by mobilising the theoretical leverage of concept of ?teleoaffective structures? to provide a granular theoretical account of how meanings shape adaptation after practice disruption. Through our empirical material, with strength training practitioners adapting to home training after gym closures, we illuminate how multifaceted teleoaffective 'components' are configured differently into routinised practice performances. These constitute practice?practitioner relationships. The characteristics of these teleoaffective configurations stretch across a spectrum from rigid to fluid, and shape adaptation pathways termed ?replicate? or ?tolerate?. Rigid teleoaffective configurations constrain adaptation, demanding replication of the practice, which is often impossible because its feel and purpose become lost in new spatio-material contexts. Fluid configurations are more transportable and foster tolerance of reconfigured practices, often because of the variety of end goals, lack of dominant affective ends and because variability is built in, which means the practice is transportable. The theorisation of teleoaffective configuration contributes to existing research that foregrounds the role of creative consumer striving in practice adaptation by identifying how the life of elements and practitioners' intentional activity intersect to shape adaptation attempts. The study also advances from research that uses a collapsed conceptualisation of ?meaning? by embracing the complexity of teleoaffective structures. Furthermore, the framework connects understandings of practitioner and practice variance with adaptation outcomes whilst keeping practice elements, particularly the teleoaffective structure, as the central unit of analysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarketing Theory
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2023

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