Kidnapping for fun and profit? Voluntary abduction, extreme consumption and self-making in a risk society | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2042-7913
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7921


This article explores the emerging phenomenon of ‘staged kidnapping’, a consumer-oriented experience in which individuals voluntarily subject themselves to abduction and associated experiences of detention, deprivation, interrogation and degradation. We explore the staging, presentation and consumption of voluntary abduction through an analysis of the online marketing and reporting of the phenomenon, to consider the ways new consumerist trends alter traditional notions of hospitality. We analyse the phenomenon’s emergence within the twin theoretical frames of Beck’s ‘risk society’ thesis and Lyng’s account of ‘voluntary risk-taking’ as a form of ‘edgework’. We argue that the framing and appeal of such experiences can be fruitfully located as an element in the reflexive production of the post-traditional self, a process that requires subjects to confront and manage (materially or symbolically) the conditions of risk and uncertainty that characterize contemporary inhospitable lifeworlds.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): consumption; edgework; hospitality; kidnapping; risk; simulation
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