New Book: Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory

August 8, 2017


Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory Edited by John F. Sherry, Eileen M Fischer © 2017 – Routledge, 318 pages Hardback: 9781138680562 $150.00 eBook: 9781315563947 $38.47

 Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory contains original research essays written by the premier thought leaders of the discipline from around the world that reflect the maturation of the field Consumer Culture Theory over the last decade. The volume seeks to help break down the silos that have arisen in disciplines seeking to understand consumer culture, and speed both the diffusion of ideas and possibility of collaboration across frontiers.

Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory begins with a re-evaluation of some of the fundamental notions of consumer behaviour, such as self and other, branding and pricing, and individual vs. communal agency then continuing with a reconsideration of role configurations as they affect consumption, examining in particular the ramifications of familial, gender, ethnic and national aspects of consumers’ lived experiences. The book move on to a reappraisal of the state of the field, examining the rhetoric of inquiry, the reflexive history and critique of the discipline, the prospect of redirecting the effort of inquiry to practical and humanitarian ends, the neglected wellsprings of our intellectual heritage, and the ideological underpinnings of the evolving construction of the concept of the brand.

Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory is a reflective assessment, in theoretical, empirical and evocative keys, of the state of the field of consumer culture theory and an indication of the scholarly directions in which the discipline is evolving providing reflection upon a rapidly expanding discipline and altered consumption-scapes by some of its prime movers.


Table of Contents for Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory

  1. Reading New Currents in Consumer Culture Theory Eileen Fischer and John F. Sherry, Jr.

Part 1: Rethinking Fundamental Notions: Selves, Others and Systems

  1. Consumers in an Age of Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Machines Russell Belk
  2. Market Value of Diversity and Ethnicity: A Cultural Analysis of African

American Media Consumption and Representation Alladi Venkatesh

  1. Consuming the Idea of the Brand Sidney J. Levy
  2. Is the Price Right? Moral and Cultural Frames for Understanding Pricing Systems Melanie Wallendorf

Part 2: Revisiting Role Configurations: Families, Gender and Consumption

  1. The Conceit of the Gift: Exploring the Gift Circuits of Registry Tonya Williams Bradford and John F. Sherry
  2. Consumption on the Feminist Agenda Linda Scott
  3. Ethnographies of a Mediterranean Vestaval: The Passeggiata Bernard Cova, Véronique Cova, and Hounaida El Jurdi
  4. Reinvigorating the Sherlock Myth: Elementary Gender-Bending Pauline Maclaran and Cele Otnes

Part 3: Reassessing the Field: Whence and Whither?

  1. Begin as You Mean to Go On: Reflections on the Rhetoric of Research Stephen Brown
  2. The Consumer Culture Theory Movement: Critique and Renewal A. Fuat Fırat and Nikhilesh Dholakia
  3. Consumer Culture Strategy Douglas B. Holt
  4. Readdressing an Alleged Lacuna: Scholarly Models for an Engaged Ethnology of Consumer Culture Eric J. Arnould
  5. Brand Doings in a Performative Perspective: An Analysis of Conceptual Brand Discourses Matthias Bode and Dannie Kjeldgaard

Part 4: Poetry

  1. Leakage John Schouten
  2. Digital Self Hilary Downey
  3. Guesswork David Glen Mick
  4. Schooling Pilar Rojas Gaviria
  5. 4play John F. Sherry, Jr.
  6. Self service in the fourth circle of hell Sandra D. Smith
  7. Self(ie) Analysis Terrance Gabel
  8. Spotlight Arcade Roel Wijland

Part 5: Conclusion

  1. Distilling Insights to Mobilize Responses: Anticipating Trajectories of Research and Intervention John F. Sherry, Jr. and Eileen Fischer


Editorial Reviews for Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory

This volume offers a palette of expanding possibilities for consumer cultural studies in leveraging current scholarly developments with activism and practical savvy in better understanding and addressing a number of pressing social issues. From changing notions of personhood with technology, to ethnic marginalization, women’s dis/empowerment, and ecological intervention, authors advance critical reflection, humanistic inclination, and solid fieldwork in essays, photographs and poems attending to the contemporary blend of ritual, meaning, organization, and economic exchange in ways that will delight, challenge and inspire studies of consumption well into the future. Lisa Peñaloza, Professor of Marketing, Kedge Business School, France

Contemporary Consumer Culture Theory is a veritable time machine that enables readers to revisit the foundational concepts of CCT and to discover the new terrains and conceptual innovations that are likely to set the field’s future. This volume is a must read for anyone seeking path breaking insights into the connections between consumer culture, marketplace structures, and the consumption practices that animate everyday life. Craig J. Thompson, Churchill Professor of Marketing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.A.

Consumer culture is ubiquitous; consumer culture theorizing much less so. Considering the significance of consumer culture for life styles, economies, sustainability issues and global and local (identity) politics, this is a surprising condition. However, and luckily, it is also a changing condition. Consumption and consumer culture is becoming an increasingly significant topical area across various social sciences. The research field known as Consumer Culture Theory constitutes a pivotal part of this movement, and this volume testifies to its strength and viability, innovativeness and insight. A book for anyone interested in consumer culture(s). Søren Askegaard, Professor of Marketing, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

This is indeed an enormously thought-provoking compendium of diverse approaches to understanding contemporary consumer culture. The book is unique in that these diverse approaches point to inspiring future directions for the field. Hence, the book promises to energize new ways of thinking that will maintain the vibrancy of CCT well into the future. I loved the sheer scope of endeavour encapsulated in ‘go big or go home’. Paul Henry, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney Business School, Australia



About the Editors

John F. Sherry, Jr. is the Raymond W. & Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Marketing at the University of Notre Dame. He is a past President of both the Association for Consumer Research and the Consumer Culture Theory Consortium, and a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Eileen Fischer is a Professor of Marketing and holds the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise in the Schulich School of Business at York University. She is Co-Editor of Journal of Consumer Research, and President of the Consumer Culture Theory Consortium

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