In its materialization of regard and disregard, the 2015 introduction of the Starbucks luxury line prompts new questions about the impact of an emergent app ascetic on the everyday practice of order. In this article, I build on previous studies of time and power, while simultaneously exploring the material practice of luxury narrated by, but practiced in contrast to, promises of community and social consciousness. I argue that time is made luxurious through the power to redistribute how one is positioned in relation to others and that this materialization reveals the role of disregard in luxury relations more generally. I examine how the formation of luxury lines that involve inserting oneself in spatial and temporal relation to others exposes the underlying disregard involved in the practice of ordering and consuming in time and space. I then explore the ways in which this practice exposes how consumption of luxury lines of material goods—particularly those goods produced by companies that make a claim to benevolence—has involved a false sense of accord narrated by tales of community-producing luxury that purport to be practicing regard for others in the practice of rewarding oneself.
Luxury Lines: Ordering and the Formation of Regard and Disregard
Patricia Mooney Nickel is assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and core faculty in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include critical theory, philanthropy and the voluntary sector, governance, and the political economy of knowledge production.