For more information about Royal Holloway, please see this promotional video. To see a promotional video for the MA Consumption, Markets & Culture see here. To see a promotional video for the Royal Holloway School of Management, click here.

For more information about the Royal Holloway MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing and the application process see here.

To get an understanding of the unique values that underly the MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing programme please read these blog posts: Value of Scholarly Values, Importance of Reading and Morris Holbrook and Business Interest in Education.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Morris Holbrook and Business Interest in Education

A defining aspect of much of the teaching in the MA Marketing at Royal Holloway is a commitment to studying marketing critically. As Chris Hackley writes (see his post here) this approach means studying marketing "as a university subject with implied values of scholarship and critical thinking and not simply as a list of management axioms to be learned by rote and applied without discrimination." This entails taking an intellectually rich approach to the subject that transcends managerial positions and instead views marketing from the perspective of society, culture, economy and politics. Hence this programme may frustrate people who wish to be "tooled" (as Terry Eagleton euphemistically puts it) for an imminent professional practice but hopefully will delight students who want to spend a year developing their critcal and analytic abilities.

To that end, Morris Holbrook's - a highly influential consumer researcher - vigorous defence (which you can read here) of a study of consumer culture uncontaminated by managerialist agenda is worth further exploration. Holbrook remains marketing's master of metaphor and presents wonderful anaologies with his tale of the Three Bears serving as a great case in point. Morris's writing regularly presents us with a host of animals from gorillas to cats and dogs and beyond to make his points and rhetorical gestures. I here return to two of my very favourite Holbrookian examples which nicely articulate the value of a critical and non-vocational approach to the subject of marketing and consumers.

First Morris considers the contrast between the ichtyologist and the fisherman - both are concerned with studying fish but the ichtyologist studies fish simply to understand them and contribute to knowledge. The fisherman, on the other hand, wants to understand fish so to better catch them. Consumer researchers, he argues, must approach consumers as the ichtyologist approaches fishes - as a research site to study and understand because understanding is an excercise worthwhile in its own right. By contrast the marketing practicioner approaches consumers so to catch them, that is to sell them products that they don't want and this is a dubious learning excercise that corrupts the historic mandate of the university and limits the ability for wider and reflexive thinking. A further concern of Morris attends the increasingly prevalent spectacle of business interests determining what should be thought in masters programmes. For example see the rise of various accrediting bodies and agencies that endorse and regulate university programmes (usually at a hefty fee) leading some schools to pursue the heady but dubious goal of "triple accreditation". Morris comments as follows:

An ichthyologist studies fish, but we don't find it acceptable for her to be swallowed by a whale. Why, then, should we who teach in business schools cheerfully agree to submerge ourselves in business interests to the point where we lose our own identities and disappear?

Another comparison he uses is that between Edmund Hillary and Willie Sutton. Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer who, in 1953, became the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Willie Sutton was an infamous careerist bank robber who staged several high profile robberies. Morris's comparison beautifully makes the point:
In directing attention away from consumption phenomena and toward buying behavior, managerialism rejects Sir Edmund Hillary's reason for climbing a mountain ("because it's there") in favor of Willie Sutton's rationale for robbing banks ("because that's where the money is"). This observation reminds us that, whereas the Greek Hermes or Roman Mercury served as the god of commerce, he was also the patron of thieves. 
Morris presented these ideas at a session at the Advances of Consumer Research conference in 1985 and by all accounts the event was a very much heated affair with major scholars of the field arguing passionately and vociferously. Marketing scholars took sides between those who strongly believed that marketing's study of consumers should be even more industrially relevant and those, lead by Morris Holbrook, who called for a subject divested of managerial relevancy and a-relevant to commercial interest. Almost thirty years later the need still remains to insist upon and passionately defend space in universities for an orientation of marketing scholarship that pursues knowledge for its own sake. We ask our students to respect and support this orientation and parcipate with us in what we believe to be the richest and most intellectually rewarding and fulfililng way of approaching the fascinating brand culture and consumer society in which we find ourselves.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

X-Factor's cultural contribution: Community music

X-Factor’s cultural contribution: Community music

Simon Cowell’s inspired television production X-Factor has made a significant impact on UK culture, demonstrated most poignantly by five of the seven Christmas number one UK singles since 2005. When not leading the chart, the X-Factor acts ran in second place, with a number of losing acts going on to achieve commercial success. The Yuletide number one has often been the biggest selling single of its year, historically dominated by charity and novelty acts, until the arrival of Syco (Simon Cowell) produced X-Factor. Cowell’s role as lead judge in a weekend prime time show, that innovatively put emphasis on the celebrity panel, combined with tie in contractual agreements for successful acts, symbiotically helped push the music producer towards the centre of the industry spotlight. Might the X-Factor become recognised as one of the defining movements in the history of music, along with Sony Walkman (individual, mobility) and Apple iPod (accessibility) ?

The shows reality TV format offers wanna be stars the chance to be plucked from mundane, obscure lives and dropped into a media cauldron, until voted off the show in dramatic style by the public. The dream of a prize of a guaranteed recording contract with marketing support has proven to be enduringly successful as a lure to engage willing participants at relatively low cost. This genre of reality talent show format has been popularised worldwide, the innovation a more democratic selection of acts using weekly audience voting, engagement which appears to be a critical success factor.

The music industry benefits from this talent development offering a peak television audience slot for established acts to promote their product and show casing live music performance to the masses.

However, digitisation has required significant re-engineering of the music business model, which had relied upon heavily promoted singles to drive more profitable volume album sales, discs sold through retail distribution, a function of fragile vinyl data storage. A failure to control internet based intellectual property right piracy saw iTunes and 89 pence single downloads emerge, with technology companies such as Apple taking a powerful role and significant revenue slice of the sales and distribution channel.

The cart-and-horse single promotes album model significantly weakened as albums were made available on a pay per track basis on line, where clips can be listened to free, prior to purchase. Other music streaming and file sharing services such as Napster and YouTube made music product widely available at no and low cost to consumers, with an impact on legal music spending. The record labels, who historically had a powerful role in identifying and nurturing commercialisable talent, have experienced dramatic changes to the nature of their industry.

Music labels thus became more reliant on other artist based revenue streams and particularly live performances, with opportunities sought to further commercialise the concert tours and any other valuable intellectual property that remained within their control.

Shows like X-Factor have helped put live music further towards the front of public consciousness, by making TV content out of talent selection. They have also offered opportunities for squeezed record labels to take near finalist, but losing, acts to market with lower risk and costs, thanks to the TV exposure they had received and the fan base they had developed.

Whilst the plethora of traditional music merchandising, from clothing to calendars, remains, somewhat subconsciously, value is being drawn from music lovers using the explicit text-to-pay and premium rate automated telephone call voting mechanisms, consumers are being lured onto the ITV X-Factor web site to download paid for live recorded tracks and also in the paid advertising that surrounds the multifaceted content that is generated by the X-Factor promotions arm and immaterial labour from social media participants. Carefully worded, quickly spoken disclosure statements seek to mitigate against potentially unethical breeches of broadcasting codes of conduct. Buyers beware.

In the X-Factor model the financial exchange for access to the music is less central, it becomes more concentrated on the co-created experience, supported by weekly affirmation and reaffirmation of their appreciation of an artist or group of artists via the much promoted paid voting systems. Pleasure is derived from social interaction, anticipation of and participation in multi-media coverage in, around and of the X-Factor experience. Ownership of the music, which is not always of the highest quality, has become a less central factor.

Driven by digital technology change perhaps music can be seen as coming full circle, assisted by X-Factor and its facsimiles, re-orientated in its pre-recording technology position, less of a product, more of a co-created community experience, which encompasses both the physical and virtual dimensions.

Gerlinde Mautner Seminar: Discourse and Marketization, at Royal Holloway February 1st

Gerlinde Mautner, an applied linguist, will give a seminar on critical perspectives on discourse and marketization at Royal Holloway in Moore Lecture Theatre 1 at 1.PM, Wednesday February 1st. All are welcome. Below is an abstract of the talk, and below that a brief biography of Professor Mautner. 
Please come along!    
Saving the Frog from Boiling: Critical Perspectives on Discourse and Marketization
Maladaptation to gradually building threats to survival is so pervasive in systems studies of corporate failure that it has given rise to the parable of the "boiled frog." If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately try to scramble out. But if you place the frog in room temperature water, and don't scare him, he'll stay put. Now if the pot sits on a heat source, and if you gradually turn up the temperature, something very interesting happens. As the temperature rises from 70 to 80 degrees F., the frog will do nothing. In fact, he will show every sign of enjoying himself. As the temperature gradually increases, the frog will become groggier and groggier, until he is unable to climb out of the pot. Though there is nothing restraining him, the frog will sit there and boil. Why? Because the frog's internal apparatus for sensing threats to survival is geared to sudden changes in his environment, not to slow, gradual changes. (Senge: 1990, 22)

The parable of the boiled frog – inaccurate in scientific terms but spot-on metaphorically – neatly captures a cluster of phenomena currently engulfing industrialized societies: the elevation of “the market” to a general social principle governing not just money-based exchange relationships but life in its totality. As part of this process, “management” is transformed from one form of social organization to the one and only form that commands legitimacy in social domains as diverse as government, education and religion, to name just a few. This “managerial assault” on the lifeworld (Hancock and Tyler: 2008, 39) has been progressing at considerable pace, yet slowly enough not to force itself into the public consciousness to any appreciable degree. Also, the sheer scale and ubiquity of the trend further encourages its naturalization. It is the task of Critical Discourse Analysis – and of its critical sister disciplines such as Critical Management Studies (Alvesson and Willmott eds: 1992) – to expose this fallacy and to demonstrate the role that discourse plays in establishing and sustaining “the market” and “management“ as pervasive and dominant paradigms. Thus, in terms of the metaphor introduced at the beginning, it falls to CDA and other critical approaches to sound the alarm when they find the water to be heating up even though for many people its current temperature may still feel comfortable enough.

Furthermore, the apparently inexorable rise of the market society seems a perfect test case for unpacking a multi-layered social phenomenon. First of all, the marketization of the lifeworld bears testimony to the funda­mentally dialectical nature of the relationship between language and society, a core assumption of CDA (Fairclough: 1992, 64; Reisigl and Wodak: 2009, 89). Marketized discourse on the one hand reflects marketized social structures and relationships. On the other hand, the language choices that people make continuously reinforce and recreate the social conditions that gave rise to them in the first place, so that discourse ends up as both a mirror and driver of social change. A second reason why the market society can be seen as a test case is because it feeds on precisely the intricate connection between the public and private spheres that has been one of CDA’s ongoing interests. With educational institutions acting as powerful mediators and multipliers, a closed circuit of cultural reproduction is created, ensuring that the market society has both the governance structures and the people it needs to function. A third aspect of this intricacy concerns the absence of a readily identifiable culprit. In trying to capture the scale, depth and discursive manifestations of marketization we are effectively dealing with what Hardy and Palmer call "spiderless webs of power relationships" (1999, 386; emphasis added).

Summarising an argument developed in greater detail elsewhere (Mautner, 2010), I will discuss the impact that marketization is having on discourse in a variety of social domains. In conclusion, I will argue that CDA ought to join forces more frequently and more intensively with Critical Management Studies and ensure the dissemination of counterdiscourses through Critical Management Education.
Alvesson, M. / H. Willmott, eds. (1992), Critical Management Studies, London: Sage.
Fairclough, N. (1992), Discourse and Social Change, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Hancock, P. / M. Tyler (2008): “Beyond the confines: Management, colonization and the everyday”. In: Critical Sociology, 34 (1), 29–49.
Hardy, C. / I. Palmer (1999): “Pedagogical practice and postmodernist ideas”. In: Journal of Management Education, 23 (4), 377–395.
Mautner, G. (2010): Language and the Market Society. Critical Reflections on Discourse and Dominance, London and New York: Routledge.
Reisigl, M. / R. Wodak (2009): “The Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA)”. In Wodak, R. / M. Meyer (eds), Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2nd ed., London: Sage, 87–121.
Senge, P. M. (1990), The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, New York: Doubleday.

Gerlinde Mautner is Professor of English Business Communication at WU, the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Her PhD in linguistics from Vienna University was a study of British news discourse; methodologically, it combined critical discourse analysis (CDA) with computer-aided corpus linguistics. Gerlinde's current research also focuses on the relationship between language and society. She's particularly interested in contested sites where business and other lifeworlds interact. In a recent monograph, for example, she investigates how discourse both shapes and is shaped by marketisation (Language and the Market Society, Routledge 2010). Forthcoming publications deal with the sociolinguistic and legal aspects of public signage, on the one hand, and applications of CDA in management studies on the other. Gerlinde regularly spends extended research periods at UK universities (such as Lancaster, Cardiff and, in 2011 and 2012, King’s College London). In 2008, she was elected to the Board of the Austrian Science Fund (a grant-giving body similar to the ESRC and HSRC). She is on the editorial boards of Organizationand Critical Discourse Studies. Her own management experience in higher education includes a four-year term as WU's Deputy VC for International Relations (1998-2002) and Head of Department (since 2005).

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Writing a Dissertation is About Making Mistakes Early On! by Hafez Rafirasme

Last year I was exactly where you are now; the poor, desperate MA Marketing student who’s been banging his head against the wall for three months to get his dissertation completed in time.

I am going to keep the intro short and give you some valuable tips that will help you dramatically in finishing that dissertation.

Make mistakes. YES you heard me, make mistakes. Let me tell you what exactly I mean. Most probably this is your first Masters degree, but guess what; your supervisors have been dealing with student like yourself year after year. They already KNOW for a fact that no one gets it right the first time and that is absolutely fine. So stop wasting time by trying to get every detail right before you show your supervisor your draft.

Start early and make mistakes early. Once you see your supervisor really LISTEN to their critical feed back. They don’t hate you (usually) they’re trying to help so if you don’t get what they’re saying then it’s really that you are not understanding them yet. But that’s fine because once you really GET IT, all their feedback starts making so much more sense and you could finish a decent dissertation within 3 weeks!

After your first meeting you might think to yourself ‘ Ha! I got it I am all-good and I will get it done this time. WRONG, the chances are you may partially improve or maybe even completely misunderstand the feedback you’ve received and will make similar mistakes.

The point here is that you should change your frame of mind and in fact WELCOME MAKING MISTAKES EARLY ON, how else would you learn and improve? No one gets it the first time. Think about it as like learning a new skill.
It’s not an essay, it’s a literature review- after writing about 100 essays during the term, you might think a literature review is the same as writing an essay. WRONG.

The lit review is the most important part of your dissertation so I say start early. Here are some tips that will help you with your lit review:

When you’re reading a journal article focus more on how the researcher did their research and not their literature review. You must note:

1) What was the finding of their research?
2) How did HE/SHE find it?
3) What were the research limitations?

Once you’ve got yourself a decent lit review then you can start working on your research methods and findings. Your introduction and conclusion should come last.

Ever seen the Oscars? You know how the presenter comes on and tells you what is about to happen? Well, he can do that because he ALREADY KNOWS what’s about to happen. Once you know what your lit review and your research is all about, you can introduce it in your introduction. There’s obviously more to writing an introduction than my limited description but I hope you get the point.

Lastly comes your conclusion and your final tuning. Leave a week for that. Trust me you don’t want to have silly mistakes in there and it takes time to make your work presentable.

I hope this helps and good luck to you all! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Do You Follow The Beer, er Bear? The Grocer-isation of Alcohol Branding in the UK

The Hofmeister Bear was an advertising icon, created in the mid-1980s by John Webster of London ad agency BMP DDB. Webster had noticed that a monster character on the Andy Williams show seemed to be very popular with adults as well as children. He copied it to create the Honey Monster, a character that featured heavily in advertising for children's breakfast cereal Sugar Puffs, and still does. Webster then applied his advertising genius to a creative leap that had seismic implications for drinking in the UK. He took his actor-in-a-bearsuit gag and used it to sell Hofmeister's tasteless lager beer. He got away with it, the Advertising Standards Authority didn't seem to notice the overt appeal to children in the ad, and alcohol began to be marketed like any other branded grocery product. Webster was also the creative brain behind the Cadbury's Smash Martians, another legendary UK TV advertising campaign which popularised a frankly disgusting instant mashed potato mix. He saw that beer, regardless of quality, could be branded on a similar scale. Today, the implications of this move into the grocery branding of alcohol and the accompanying shift away from pub on-sales to retail off-sales, what I call the grocer-isation of alcohol, are clear: the mean age profile of people with acute alcohol-related disease has fallen dramatically. The numbers of young people under 30 presenting in liver specialist wards with advanced liver disease has boomed. How significant is the grocer-isation of alcohol in the UK's alcohol problem?                

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs

Royal Holloway Entrepreneur Society are promoting an event that may be of interest to marketing students. See their message and promo video below: 

From the 8000 students, 16 will be selected and will be put through 3 specially designed and most challenging business tasks. Each task will be graded by judges panel - successful UK entrepreneurs. After 2 weeks from the start all teams will meet at the final where all the evaluations will be counted and teams will go for the last trial. The team who scores the most points by the end of the challenge final evening will be crowned the winners of 'Royal Holloway Apprentice 2012', receiving the main prize and a golden ticket to London Apprentice final where they will have a chance to compete against the best teams in London from universities like LSE and Kings College!

You are feeling creative, specialist in your field or having an ability to manage team? Feeling like going up for a fight or taking up a challenge? Fill your application now, invite friends and get into one of the biggest entrepreneurial event of the year!

Sixteen individuals, Four teams, Two weeks, One winner to go further to London Apprentice Finals!'

For further details see the facebook page here.

In case you don't know what the Apprentice is - see Charlie Brooker's review here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Professor Chris Hackley on Channel 4 News

Professor Chris Hackley appeared on Channel 4 news this evening to discuss the new government recommendations for alcohol consumption.

See the appearance here.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Marketing Melancholia

Misery lit is well-known as a book marketing phenomenon that plays on readers’ prurience, voyeurism and, perhaps, shadenfraude (if that’s how you spell shadenfraude). Frank McCourt, for example, recounts his wretched Irish childhood (wretched even for an Irish childhood) in Angela’s Ashes, a classic of the genre, while more recently Cormac McCarthy (a pattern emerging here) cornered the market in post-apocalyptic depravity. McCarthy’s themes of infanticide, necrophilia and cannibalism might not strike you as promising marketing material. Nonetheless, consumers lap them up with the same enthusiasm as McCourt’s starving hero who, in a memorable scene, ecstatically licked the salt from a fish and chip wrapper discarded by his mother's beastly lover. Perhaps that simile doesn’t quite work grammatically, but why would anyone want to sojourn in the seventh circle of hell, linger in a labyrinth of lachrymosity, dwell in a dungeon of depravity? What is so marvellous about melancholia? What is the perk in paying money to be pissed off? Leaving aside, for a moment, the titillation of alliteration, could it be that misery lit, and the consumption of misery in little chunks as risk, thrill, fear, or drunken, drug-fuelled excess, tells us something deeper about the darker recesses of consumer psychology? Read on...      

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Marketing and Sustainability

Marketing and Sustainability
11 January, 2-5 
Royal Holloway
Windsor Building 1-05
all welcome

Pierre McDonagh, Dublin City University 
Ray Benton, Loyola University Chicago
Gretchen Larsen, King's College 
Alan Bradshaw, Royal Holloway

This one day mini-conference marks the visit of MBA students from Loyola University Chicago and addresses a wide range of issues relating to marketing and sustainability. The topics shall be as follows:

Keynote Address - Pierre McDonagh
The Context for Sustainable Communication in 2012
This presentation will explore McDonagh’s work on Sustainable Communication as part of understanding organizations from an ecological point of view following what Giddens (1991) called the ‘prevailing order’ or what Kilbourne McDonagh and Prothero (1997) framed as Milbrath's Dominant Social Paradigm. Recently, there has been a notable business engagement with sustainability and it has been referred to in the Harvard Business Review as the current megatrend in business (Lubin and Esty 2010). At the same time much has been made of a business case in favour of sustainable consumption & production. This research seminar will reflect on the research synergies such a swing presents for the next ten years and outlines structural, training and recruitment challenges for organizations and how we think about them.

Ray Benton
On Myths, Models and Metaphors
Although most schools of business do not behave as though it were so, they are actually engaged in training the managers of tomorrow and not the managers of today.  To make things worse, most schools of business in fact educate for yesterday, not even for today.  This is, in part, because the discussions are filled with the issues on which leading schools of thought differ but take place in an intellectual atmosphere determined by the views on which they agree.  Given that it is generally acknowledged that our economic train has become derailed, it is not time to put the train back on the racks and to stoke up the engine, but to consider if we really want (or even wanted) to go where the train was taking us.  Since it is easier to change direction when momentum has flagged, it is now time to reconsider where it is that we want the train to take us.  To do that we need to expose and open for serious discussion and debate the unthinkingly accepted views that determine the intellectual atmosphere in which all other discussions take place. 

Gretchen Larsen
Small is Beautiful: Degrowth Logic in Contemporary Consumption
In this talk, we will explore degrowth as a radical approach to addressing the issue of sustainability. Expressions of degrowth logic in contemporary consumption practice are discussed, which in turn raise some interesting issues for marketing management.

Alan Bradshaw
Sustainability and Capital
In this presentation I shall explore the paradox of capital sustainability that insists upon compound growth whilst simultaneously expecting production and consumption to achieve sustainability. By exploring various critical frameworks, I wish to argue that the idea of sustainability exists in a state of appropriation, a pseudo-discourse and a lie that capitalism likes to tell itself.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Lucre and the Idea of a University by Edith Hall

Edith Hall is the out-going Professor of Classics and English at Royal Holloway (moving to Kings) and has kindly given permission to re-publish this message from her excellent blog

Over Christmas I have heard the word ‘university’ used repeatedly by daughters, nieces and friends’ daughters between the ages of 12 and 16. They have not been discussing what institution they might attend to acquire advanced education. They have been talking in awed tones about theludicrously expensive products sold by the chain of ‘Jack Wills’ shops, who describe themselves as 'the ‘original University Outfitters, creating quality goods designed to reflect British heritage and style.’

Jack Wills Ltd. is based in the holiday town of the British super-rich, Salcombe in Devon. Salcombe is an exclusive playground for people who can afford extortionate water sports, and where property prices are the second highest in the country after central London.

Despite the clean-cut, wholesome, preppy image it tries to project, Jack Wills Limited has already acquired some unsavoury form. It has been in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority for using highly sexualised pictures of Hooray Henries tearing clothes off intoxicated girls, images which were banned last April.

The clothes are of course not made in Salcombe. There have been rumours of the use of child labour in the Far East, and the company’s current practices have not allowed it to qualify for full membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (not that it is exactly difficult to make it to full membership, which has even been acquired by Primark!)

The hoodwinked young teenagers I have been talking to think that £69 is a reasonable price for a flimsy sweatshirt and £14.50 for a single pair of socks, provided that their mother is paying. They ALL assume that Jack Wills Ltd. has some kind of official relationship with a ‘posh’ university (Oxford or Cambridge is suggested) and is very old.
Actually, the company was formed in 1999, appropriately enough just after the first tuition fees were introduced at British universities. It has created a brand directed with cynical precision at teenagers, in Britain, the USA and Hong Kong, who are far too young to attend university but who want to buy the dream of hanging around with rich youths, preferably royalty.

These young girls fantasise about wealth and social class with an added suggestion of erotic frisson. The company claims that it is called after one its founders’ ancestors, Jack Williams. Actually, in the minds of teenage girls, the only thing ‘Wills’ means is Prince William.

I am not about to launch a campaign against this particular company, however much I may personally despise it. What interests me is how the marketing people at Jack Wills Ltd. define membership of a notional university, acquired by wearing particular clothes, which promises a lifestyle in a fast social set with huge amounts of inherited money.

This is sinisterly akin to the new British ‘vision’ of the university as a commercial enterprise and a degree as indicating financial resources and social status or aspirations rather than anything to do with the life of the mind. Every single working-class person I have spoken to who got to university in Britain via the old grammar school system, including the poet Tony Harrison, says they would never have gone if the state had not paid their fees.

The word ‘university’ comes from the Latin universitas, which to Cicero was a wonderfully inclusive word embracing the universe or the whole of humankind (On the Nature of the Gods 2.65.164). By 1210 AD the word meant the entire community of scholars working together, on whatever subject-matter, in the city of Paris.

For the teenagers from whose parents Jack Wills Ltd. wants to extract large dollops of cash, however, a university means catching a public schoolboy by wearing a cute slim-fit rugby shirt and taking it off at a yacht club piss-up. Happy New Year!