Cathecting with your AR15: The transcendent experience

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Connect. Engage. Transform. ANZMAC 2018 Conference Proceedings


Australia New Zealand Marketing Academics Conference (ANZMAC)


School of Business and Law




MacCarthy, M., & Meek, s. (2018). Cathecting with your AR15: The transcendent experience. In Connect. Engage. Transform. ANZMAC 2018 Conference Proceedings, (pp. 168 - 171) Adelaide, Australia: University of Adelaide. https://anzmac.wildapricot.org/Conference-2018


The AR15 assault rifle is a familiar paragon of US symbolism, recreation and self-defence. There are upwards of five million of these firearms in circulation yet ownership of this particular rifle is highly contentious given the predilection of those intending on mayhem to prefer it. The use and misuse of the AR15 has resulted in a peculiar notoriety. This project combines the qualitative methods of ethnography with netnography. Specifically, registration of three online AR15 forums and three purposeful site visitations to the US with the intention of participating in the AR15 sub-culture. We purchase, build, shoot, observe and socialise with AR15’s in firearm settings. The findings include, but are not limited to how owners feel about their AR15’s, their motives for possession and the nuanced nature of the AR15 community.

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