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This chapter examines how trends in consumption can be harvested and codified as “values” by examining some of capitalism's agents. It explores the practices of trendspotting, carried out by people in advertising agencies and all sorts of consumer research companies that employ different methods, including ethnography, to learn more about consumers. These workers act as agents of capitalism in several ways: by making their clients' quantitative data more qualitative through ethnographic studies; by educating clients about their market(s); by ethnographizing consumers in order to improve their clients' products; and by identifying markets and helping to make a product appeal to that market. Trendspotters take the preferences of consumers segmented into particular groups and regularize them as “values,” which are then employed to market products.

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