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What's Deviance Got to Do With It? Black Friday Sales, Violence, and Hyper-Conformity

Raymen, Thomas; Smith, Oliver

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Thomas Raymen

Oliver Smith


Based upon original ethnographic and interview data, this article presents an initial theorization and analysis of the violence and disorder witnessed throughout UK high streets and superstores during the 2014 Black Friday sales. While the conduct of these ‘extreme shoppers’ appeared deviant, this article positions such behaviour as hyper-conformity to the cultural values of neoliberalism, embodying the competitive individualism, cultivation of envy and aggressive display of consumer items which characterizes Western society in late modernity. In doing so, the authors explore the concept of ‘deviant leisure’, using the disorder of Black Friday to pose important questions about how the underpinning social and cultural values of neoliberal consumer capitalism pervades relatively mundane leisure activities, cultivating harmful subjectivities.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 16, 2015
Online Publication Date Jun 3, 2015
Publication Date Mar 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 3, 2017
Journal British Journal of Criminology
Print ISSN 0007-0955
Electronic ISSN 1464-3529
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 2
Pages 389-405
Keywords Consumerism, Black Friday, Deviance, Leisure, Shopping.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (654 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The version of record Thomas Raymen and Oliver Smith (2016) What’s Deviance Got to Do with it? Black Friday Sales, Violence and Hyper-Conformity. British Journal of Criminology, 56(2): 389-405 is available online at:

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