Car crashes and demolition derbies: Consumption of pure and deliberate camp cinema

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
47 + 2
This study aims to explore consumer motivations for engaging with camp cinema as a distinct media. Camp is a way to positively reinterpret a work of art that does not align with mainstream standards. Camp cinema, therefore, is appreciated and consumed because of qualities that would normally be considered bad. Camp can also be separated into pure and deliberate, both of which carry different artistic implications and attract different audiences. By making this distinction this study aims to better understand the differences between the consumer groups. Watching camp is a nuanced consumption practice and can provide insights into how consumers think, yet the topic has not received a lot of attention from consumer research. A series of interviews with self-reported fans of camp cinema were conducted, during which the participants were questioned on their preferences regarding camp, viewing habits, and viewing stances. The findings of this study demonstrate camp cinema as a distinct and nuanced consumption practice. Viewers of camp cinema frame their consumption as a beneficial activity and an opportunity to expand their understanding of cinema. Camp cinema is also a way for consumers to escape the pervasive self-improvement culture in favor of a more casual viewing experience. For pure camp viewers these films are also a way to stimulate creativity and independent thought, escaping the formulaic products of the culture industry. Viewers with a strong preference for pure camp often had a negative view of deliberate camp and their audiences, distancing themselves from the ‘illegitimate’ version of camp.
Thesis advisor
Jones, Hunter
camp cinema, culture industry, Bourdieu, authenticity, escapism
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