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Consumer Culture Theory

Consumer Culture Theory

Edited by:

August 2018 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Outlining the key themes, concepts and theoretical areas in the field, this book draws on contributions from prominent researchers to unravel the complexities of consumer culture by looking at how it affects personal identity, social interactions and the consuming human being.

A field which is characterised as being theoretically challenging is made accessible through learning features that include case study material, critical reflection, research directions, further reading and a broad mix of the types of consumers and consumption contexts including emerging markets and economies.


The structure of the book is designed to help students map the field in the way it is interpreted by researchers and follows the conceptual mapping in the classic Arnould & Thompson 2005 journal article. The book is organised into three parts - the Consumption Identity, Marketplace Cultures and the Socio-Historic Patterning of Consumption. Insight is offered into both the historical roots of consumer culture and the everyday experiences of navigating the contemporary marketplace.

The book is supported by a collection of international case studies and real world scenarios, including: How Fashion Bloggers Rule the Fashion World; the Kendall Jenner Pepsi Commercial; Professional Beer Pong, Military Recruiting Campaigns, The World Health Organization and the Corporatization of Education.


The go-to text for anyone new to CCT or postgraduate students writing a CCT-related thesis.

Introduction: What is Consumer Culture Theory?
Part 1: Consumption Identity
Hope Schau
Chapter 1: Consumers Volitional Identity Projects
Amber Epp, Tandy Thomas
Chapter 2: Family & Collective Identity Projects
Michelle Weinberger, David Crockett
Chapter 3: Critical Reflections on Consumer Identity
Part 2: Marketplace Cultures
Bernard Cova, Avi Shankar
Chapter 4: Consumption Tribes and Collective Performance
Daiane Scaraboto, Eminegul Karababa
Chapter 5: Consumer Produced, Emergent & Hybrid Markets
Burçak Ertimur, Gokcen Coskuner-Balli
Chapter 6: Glocalization of Marketplace Cultures
Part 3: The Socio-Historic Patterning of Consumption
Paul Henry, Mary-Louise Caldwell
Chapter 7: Social Class
Luca Visconti, Shona Bettany, Pauline MacLaran
Chapter 8: Gender
Robert L. Harrison III, Kevin D. Thomas, Samantha N. N. Cross
Chapter 9: Ethnicity
Fleura Bardhi, Marius Luedicke
Chapter 10: Global Mobilities
Part 4: The Ideological Shaping of Consumption Practices and Consumers' Co-creative Appropriations
Ela Veresiu, Markus Giesler
Chapter 11: Neoliberalism and Consumption
Zeynep Arsel, Jonathan Bean
Chapter 12: Social Distinction and Practices of Taste
Dominique Roux, Elif Izberk-Bilgin
Chapter 13: Consumer Resistance & Subaltern Consumption
Chapter 14: Conclusion

Edited by the luminary co-founders of the CCT movement, this book is more than mere reference work, it's a rallying cry! Explaining the fundamentals of consumer culture theory in a sophisticated and rigorous, yet accessible, tone and format, this volume speaks to a new generation of CCT scholars—educating, engaging, and informing them like no other book in the field. I can't wait to bring this into my classroom!

Robert Kozinets
Jayne and Hans Hufschmid Chair of Strategic Public Relations at USC Annenberg

Consumer Culture Theory is one of the most exciting areas of interdisciplinary inquiry today. This textbook offers the definitive review of CCT by the leading scholars in the field.  Each chapter tackles a complex theoretical issue in CCT and brings it to life with verve.  The volume delivers a range of challenging theories in an accessible and exciting manner without in any way diluting the power of the ideas.  A book that readers will be eager to turn to again and again.

Douglas Holt
Cultural Strategy Group

Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) made easy – a solid overview of the most important sources and insights forming the research community of Consumer Culture theorists. Interested marketing practitioners and scholars – also from consumer research and marketing outside CCT, consumer sociologists/anthropologists,… Indeed, everybody grabbling to understand consumer culture… you can all start here!

Søren Askegaard
Professor of Marketing, University of Southern Denmark

This collection is a well-curated set of contributions on some of the key topics we need to know about to understand consumer culture.  I think it will be essential reading for graduate student seeking entrée to studying consumer culture, and useful for seasoned scholars seeking to extend some of the key conversations in our field.

Eileen Fischer
Professor of Marketing and Tanenbaum Chair of Entrepreneurship, Schulich School of Business, York University

Right from the opening pages it is clear that this is no run-of-the-mill textbook. It is a collection of lively and engaging works that illuminate the kind of innovative and challenging research, as well as the diverse positions and contexts that have helped shape this dynamic discipline. It is bound to become a major resource for CCT scholars and students at all levels of their career.

Christina Goulding
Professor of Marketing, University of Birmingham

In this well-curated volume, editors Arnould and Thompson bring coherence to the eclectic CCT field and make it approachable for a broad audience. The different chapters represent a wide variety of theoretical traditions, methodological orientations, and empirical settings and manages to give room for necessary stylistic idiosyncrasies, without ever compromising the consistency of the book as a whole.

Jacob Ostberg
Professor of Advertising and PR, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University

A sociologically informed view of the theoretics of consumer culture, this engaging collection of essays by a distinguished group of international scholars orients readers to the interplay of ideology and materiality in the contemporary world. Replete with compelling examples and provocative pedagogy, the text is classroom friendly and sure to promote discussion.

John F. Sherry
Jr. Herrick Chair of Marketing, University of Notre Dame

This user-friendly textbook is most informative for students of consumer research who want to find out what Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) is and how CCT’s sociocultural perspective complements conventional consumer psychology. The chapters, which provide simple yet lucid synopses of recent research and make theory accessible with cases are most welcome.

Güliz Ger
Bilkent University, Turkey and SKEMA, France

This collection of essays by highly reputable CCT scholars provides an exciting textbook for understanding consumption as primarily a social and cultural activity, rather than as a psychological process.  It shifts from consumption as passive acquisition of symbols for sale toward it being an active process of cultural meaning production. 

Melanie Wallendorf
McClelland Professor of Marketing, and Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona

The dates for the beginning of the course, have been moved to May 2022. This is due to the COVID-19 and several regulations from the Government of Indonesia. As the Lecturer, the textbook is very informative and useful at the Introduction Level of Marketing Research. Also, the textbook provides a complete framework of end-of-chapters assignments and discussion materials. However, it may need a 16-week Semester to cover the book, whereas at the Indonesian universities, most Master's degrees cover a 14-week Semester. This means that the Lecturer may have to carefully choose and decide which chapters will be included in the Semester. I would like to thank Sage, though, for this facility. I must mention that I became familiar with Sage books during my own Ph.D. Very insightful texts, that were very crucial in helping me with my dissertation.

Dr Kandi Sofia Dahlan
Business Administration, Universitas Bunda Mulia
March 23, 2022

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