Learning CCT

Consumer Culture Theory is taught at the undergraduate, masters, and PhD levels at universities around the globe. Different instructors, textbooks, and programs place varying levels of emphasis on CCT in the curriculum. The following are schools and workshops that provide doctoral training in consumer culture theory and methods. These are followed by a few background readings on CCT Theory and Methods. 

  1. PhD Programs
  2. Workshops and Symposia
  3. Books and Articles About CCT
  4. Tutorials and Books on Doing CCT Research
  5. Expert Guest Speakers



North America

University of Arizona, Marketing, USA: https://marketing.eller.arizona.edu/doctoral

University of Arkansas, Marketing, USA: https://gsb.uark.edu/phd-programs/marketing.php

University of California – Irvine, Marketing, USA: https://merage.uci.edu/programs/phd/index.html

Concordia University, Marketing CAN: https://www.concordia.ca/jmsb/programs/graduate/phd.html

HEC Montreal, Marketing, CAN: https://www.hec.ca/en/programs/phd/phd-marketing/index.html

University of Nebraska, Marketing, USA: http://cba.unl.edu/academic-programs/departments/marketing/

University of Oregon, Marketing, USA: https://business.uoregon.edu/phd/concentrations/marketing

Queens University, Marketing, CAN: https://smith.queensu.ca/grad_studies/PHD/areas_of_specialization/marketing.php

University of Wisconsin, Marketing, USA: https://wsb.wisc.edu/programs-degrees/doctoral-phd/areas-of-study/marketing?_ga=2.212662356.1514151254.1513274226-1746777955.1513274226

York University, Marketing, CAN: http://schulich.yorku.ca/programs/phd/


Aalto Business School, Marketing, Finland: http://biz.aalto.fi/en/research/tohtorinkoulutus/

University of Bath, School of Management, UK: http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/management-phd/

Bilkent University, Marketing, Turkey: http://fba.bilkent.edu.tr/programs/ms-and-phd/msphd-areas-of-study/msphd-marketing/

University of Birmingham, Birmingham Business School, UK: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/business/marketing.aspx

Cass Business School, UK: https://www.cass.city.ac.uk/study/phd/management

Université Lille Nord de France-SKEMA Business School, France: http://www.skema.edu/

Royal Holloway, University of London, UK: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/management/home.aspx

University of Liverpool, School of Management, UK: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/management/postgraduate-research/

University of Southern Denmark, Marketing, Denmark: https://www.sdu.dk/en/om_sdu/institutter_centre/i_marketing/forskning/forskningsenheder/ccc/phd+programs


University of Auckland, Auckland University Business School, NZ: https://www.business.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/future-postgraduates/study-options-7/postgraduate-programmes-1/phd-quick-facts.html

University of Melbourne, Faculty of Business and Economics, AU: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/phd/degrees/marketing

Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Business School, Singapore: http://www.nbs.ntu.edu.sg/Programmes/PhD/Pages/Home.aspx

RMIT University, RMIT University Business School, AU: https://www.rmit.edu.au/about/our-education/academic-schools/economics-finance-and-marketing/research/research-groups/cctmd-research-group 

University of Sydney,  University of Sydney Business School, AU: https://sydney.edu.au/courses/courses/pr/doctor-of-philosophy-business.html

Latin America

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile http://doctorados.uc.cl/en

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, COPPEAD, Brazil: http://www.coppead.ufrj.br/pt-br/doutorado/sobre-o-curso/

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, PPGA, Brazil: https://www.ufrgs.br/escoladeadministracao/ppga/doutorado/

Fundacao Getúlio Vargas, EAESP, Brazil: http://eaesp.fgv.br/cursos/doutorado-administracao-empresas-cdae

**Please contact us  with suggested changes/additions to this list and alert us to broken links.


In addition to formal doctoral programs emphasizing CCT, several universities and associations offer workshops and symposia focusing on various aspects of Consumer Culture Theory, Qualitative Data Collection, and Qualitative Data Analysis.

Qualitative Data Analysis Workshop (run in conjunction with the Consumer Culture Theory Conference) odd years.

The QDA Workshop is a biennial hands-on workshop focusing on the analysis, interpretation, and writing of qualitative consumer research. The focus of this workshop is not qualitative data collection. Working with senior mentors, teams will tackle issues such as: interpretive problems, iterative cycling from data/literature/theory, and moving from findings to theoretical contributions. See here for the upcoming QDA workshop! 

Theorizing Consumer Culture (run in Santiago, Chile) every year.

This 2-day workshop aims at supporting Latin American CCT scholars to successfully overcome challenges in paper development and publishing. It also enables participants to connect with other Latin American researchers who are working on consumer culture research, potentially developing collaborations across disciplines and institutions.  

Consumer Culture Theory (run in Australia) every year, by the Consumer Culture Insights Group at RMIT, Melbourne and invited senior scholars.

This one day workshop helps CCT scholars connect, learn, and share knowledge via presentations, panels, and one-on-one mentoring. The inaugural 2017 workshop focused on how to build a theory  from large, complex data. This workshop is designed to appeal to scholars at a variety of levels.

Workshop on Videography (run in Europe) several times a year by Pr. Joonas Rokka.

Videography is an innovative and transdisciplinary research methodology that can be used to study consumption experiences, brands, identity, lifestyle, materiality, temporality, space and markets. The workshop is ideal for Phd students interested in doing research using video-based approaches. The workshop is particularly well suited for researchers aiming to publish visually-oriented work in academic conferences and publications.

JNRC Conference and Doctoral Colloquium (run in France) every year.

JNRC is a three-day event that aims at gathering French-speaking CCT researchers. The goal of this event is to share ongoing research projects to get constructive feedback, and to meet in a friendly environment. The Doctoral Colloquium is particularly relevant for PhD students belonging to institutions where CCT researchers are in a minority, and need extra feedback on their research.  

European Doctoral School of Consumer Culture Theorizing

A formal collaboration between University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, Université Lille Nord de France-SKEMA Business School & Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, the “Doctoral School” series of seminars focuses on various aspects of studying consumer behavior from a sociocultural perspective. The seminars constituting 24 ECTS credits in total, are run in a cycle of two years, so that a doctoral student can include them all within the frame of a normal period of doctoral studies.

The format of all seminars is quite similar; all are weeklong intensive seminars. The seminars are complementary but can also be taken individually. They feature a high degree of faculty-student interaction, and focus both on the general doctoral educational processes (creation of a body of knowledge) as well as integration of the students’ individual projects in the learning experience (application to a particular project).

The Doctoral School includes the following seminars:

Consumption Theory: A Canon of Classics (run in Odense, Denmark) even years.

The purpose of this seminar is to critically investigate some of the key classics that constitute the foundation for many current perspectives in consumer research. Doctoral students thereby learn top better navigate the various foundational theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the research traditions, they encounter. The seminar aims to cover at least the standard references to social theorists encountered in consumer research but we add in various other canonical social theorists. Authors covered during the seminar varies from time to time but has  so far included among others: Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman, Jürgen Habermas, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Victor Turner and Max Weber.

The seminar also aims to enable the participants to conceptualize their work in relationship to the literature. A recurrent theme is the discussion of how to make use of the inspiration that can be provided by classical social theory without buying into a dogmatic logic of theoretical hegemony. The aim is to generate versatility, openness and the ability to critically consider general social theories and their relevance for consumer culture thoerizing

Consumption Markets and Culture Theorization  (run by Middle Eastern Technical University, Turkey, odd years)

Formerly known as “the Bilkent Seminar”, this seminar emphasizes mid-range and contextualized theory in the field of socio-cultural approaches to marketing and consumption. The purpose is to discuss contemporary the socio-culturally inspired studies of market, consumption and marketing or Consumer Culture Theoretics (CCT). The readings and the speakers highlight an interdisciplinary perspective and seek to expose the participants to sophisticated discussions of consumption and markets within marketing, anthropology, sociology, communication, and cultural and gender studies. These discussions center on mid-range and contextualized theory. The seminar emphasizes the historical, socio-cultural, political-economic and ethical dimensions and challenges of consumption and marketing in developed and developing nations in the contemporary global world.

The seminar also aims to enable the participants to conceptualize their work in relationship to the literature. Speakers and participants will discuss what constitutes a theoretical contribution and how to theorize and formulate a contribution.
A final purpose of the seminar is to increase the participants’ awareness of the expectations of international journals and review processes. There will be a faculty panel on “how to publish” research papers.

Consumer Culture Theory: Workshop on Methodology (run at Université Lille Nord de France-SKEMA Business School) odd years.

This seminar focuses on qualitative methods and research design for studies adopting a cultural approach of consumption. The overarching objective of the seminar is to familiarize researchers with qualitative methods to be adopted when conducting consumer research projects.

Politics of Consumption (run in London, by Royal Holloway) even years.

The purpose of this workshop is to probe the colour of research and ask participants to account for the political implications of their research, research that is often conducted in business schools in private colleges, or in public colleges transforming according to a privatising logic.  

For more information about the European Doctoral School of CCT Theorizing, including seminar dates and application information, click here.

Image result for Consumer culture theory (CCT): Twenty years of research


The following books and articles provide an overview of the field of CCT: 

Journal Article: “Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research” by Arnould and Thompson, Journal of Consumer Research,  2005 

Textbook: Consumer Culture Theory, eds. Eric Arnould and Craig Thompson, Sage, 2018 (Royalties will be donated to the CCTC)

Journal Article:  “Consumer Culture Theory: The Ironies of History” by Askegaard and Scott, Marketing Theory, 2013

Edited Research Volume: Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory eds Sherry and Fischer, Routledge, 2017



It is typical for CCT researchers to cultivate theoretical and methodological knowledge through coursework in core disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, communications, and cultural studies. The following are a selection of readings that provide more specific guidance for doing research in the CCT tradition and publishing in the top consumer research journals.

Research Methods and Theoretical Development

Asking Questions with Reflexive Focus: A Tutorial on Designing and Conducting Interviews, Journal of Consumer Research by Zeynep Arsel Image result for Asking Questions with Reflexive Focus: A Tutorial on Designing and Conducting Interviews

Netnography, Redefined, Sage Book, by Rob Kozinets

Automated Text Analysis for Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research, by Ashlee Humphreys and Rebecca Jen-Hui Wang

Qualitative Consumer and Marketing Research, Sage Book by Russell Belk, Eileen Fischer, and Robert V Kozinets

Process Theorization in Cultural Consumer Research By Markus Giesler and  Craig J. Thompson, Journal of Consumer Research

Market-Oriented Ethnography: Interpretation Building and Marketing Strategy Formulation, Journal of Marketing Research by Eric J. Arnould and Melanie Wallendorf

Review Process

Field Guide for the Review Process: Writing and Responding to Peer Reviews By Rajesh Bagchi, Lauren Block, Rebecca W. Hamilton, Julie L. Ozanne, Journal of Consumer Research


Experts in various aspects of consumer culture theory, cultural methods, and cultural analysis are available as guest speakers in PhD, MBA, and undergraduate Introduction to Marketing, Methods, Consumer Behavior, and Brand Strategy courses. Speakers can provide a broad introduction to CCT research, offer training sessions, or provide seminars on specific areas such as identity consumption, political ideology, branding, family, rituals, gift giving, brand communities, race/ethnicity, social class, tastes, depth interviewing, qualitative data analysis, ethnography, etc. Contact us  to be connected to appropriate faculty.

**Contact us to make suggestions for additions and changes to this page.