Appadurai, Arjun (1990), “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” in Theory, Culture, Society, ed. Since the turn of the century a number of measures have been taken to boost rural income: the elimination of agricultural taxes in 2004 as well as increased subsidies. In this family of CCT studies, consumers are conceptualized as interpretive agents rather than as passive dupes. For example, Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (2001) uses the ubiquity of fast food consumption to critically analyze the socioeconomic and cultural forces that have transformed the nature of work, leisure, and family relationships in post–World War II America. O'Guinn, Thomas C. and Russell W. Belk (1989), “Heaven on Earth: Consumption at Heritage Village, USA,” Journal of Consumer Research, 16 (September), 227–38. (2002), “The Politics of Consumption: A Re-Inquiry on Thompson and Haytko's (1997) ‘Speaking of Fashion,’” Journal of Consumer Research, 29 (December), 427–40. Used to describe the “sociocultural, experiential, symbolic, and ideological aspects of consumption” (Arnould & Thompson, 2005, p. 868), consumer culture theory acknowledges the core theoretical assumptions within this plethora of research. [1] Wilk, Richard (1995), “Learning to Be Local in Belize: Global Systems of Common Difference,” in Worlds Apart: Modernity through the Prism of the Local, ed. It draws on a wide range of representations to construct a culture around material goods, weaving a range of imagery and sign play to make commodities more enticing and exciting (advertising in its various forms being the key here) and provides a whole range of publicity material to educate consumers into enjoying new tastes. Holbrook, Morris B. and John O'shaughnessy (1988), “On the Scientific Status of Consumer Research and the Need for an Interpretive Approach to Studying Consumption Behavior,” Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (December), 398–402. Furthermore, the presence of different conversations does not preclude cross-paradigmatic engagement and enrichment. Holt, Douglas B. and Craig J. Thompson (2004), “Man-of-Action Heroes: The Pursuit of Heroic Masculinity in Everyday Consumption,” Journal of Consumer Research, 31 (September), 425–40. It strives to systematically link individual level (or idiographic) meanings to different levels of cultural processes and structure and then to situate these relationships within historical and marketplace contexts. Maffesoli, Michel (1996), The Time of Tribes, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. The term “consumer culture” also conceptualizes an interconnected system of commercially produced images, texts, and objects that groups use—through the construction of overlapping and even conflicting practices, identities, and meanings—to make collective sense of their environments and to orient their members' experiences and lives (Kozinets 2001). Reilly, Michael D. and Melanie Wallendorf (1987), “A Comparison of Group Differences in Food Consumption Using Household Refuse,” Journal of Consumer Research, 14 (September), 289–94. Accordingly, this chapter takes knowledge of and concern with food quality as a case study of consumer culture. Modernity among the elite and middle classes of South America is tied to urbanity, whiteness, and Euro-North Americanized consumer culture. Dawson, Michael (2003), The Consumer Trap: Big Business Marketing in American Life, Champaign: University of Illinois Press. The sex and class biases found in collecting (not only in who collects, but also in what is collected and the status accorded such collectors) may be seen to recapitulate the biases found in society more generally. Tse, David K., Russell W. Belk, and Nan Zhou (1989), “Becoming a Consumer Society: A Longitudinal and Cross-Cultural Content of Analysis of Print Ads from Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan,” Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (September), 457–72. ——— (2003), “How to Build an Iconic Brand,” Market Leader, 21 (Summer), 35–42. Deighton and Grayson (1995) offer a counterintuitive spin on this interpretive agent viewpoint by analyzing how consumers willingly become complicit in their own seduction by marketplace narratives. This stream of CCT research also addresses the ways in which consumers forge feelings of social solidarity and create distinctive, fragmentary, self-selected, and sometimes transient cultural worlds through the pursuit of common consumption interests (Belk and Costa 1998; Kozinets 2002; Schouten and McAlexander 1995). Thompson, Craig J. and Diana L. Haytko (1997), “Speaking of Fashion: Consumers' Uses of Fashion Discourses and the Appropriation of Countervailing Cultural Meanings,” Journal of Consumer Research, 24 (June), 15–42. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. Along with this shift came a very different range of motion and posture and thereby different notions of how the female body could move through society. surgery), cultural expectations (e.g. These collections may be thought of as encoding the following dichotomies with the male collection characteristics listed first: gigantic/tiny, strong/weak, world/home, machine/nature, extinguishing/nurturing, science/art, seriousness/playfulness, functional/decorative, conspicuous/inconspicuous, inanimate/animate (after Belk et al., 1991). These concerns follow from a decidedly modernist construction of science and the concomitant idea that a scientific field progresses by developing a unified system of knowledge around a common domain of interest (e.g., Hunt 1991). V. de Grazia, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Understanding the Modern Consumer Culture 1248 Words | 5 Pages. Belk, Russell W. and Richard W. Pollay (1985), “Images of Ourselves: The Good Life in Twentieth Century Advertising,” Journal of Consumer Research, 11 (March), 887–97. Kozinets, Robert V. (2001), “Utopian Enterprise: Articulating the Meaning of Star Trek's Culture of Consumption,” Journal of Consumer Research, 28 (June), 67–89. 1997; Thompson 1996). ——— (1997), “Poststructuralist Lifestyle Analysis: Conceptualizing the Social Patterning of Consumption,” Journal of Consumer Research, 23 (March), 326–50. The disciplinary pioneers of CCT encouraged investigation of the contextual, symbolic, and experiential aspects of consumption as they unfold across a consumption cycle that includes acquisition, consumption and possession, and disposition processes and analysis of these phenomena from macro-, meso-, and micro-theoretical perspectives (Belk 1987b, 1988; Belk, Wallendorf, and Sherry 1989; Hirschman and Holbrook 1982; Holbrook 1987; McCracken 1986; Mick 1986). Developed from the increasing recognition of the postmodern consumer, this theory highlights the growing heterogeneous nature of consumption, emphasizing the formation of a variety of contradictions such as identity and meaning. If such barriers can be overcome it will facilitate specialisation in agricultural production which itself partially reflects diversification of taste in foodstuffs, especially in the cities, since, with rising income, the role of grain in the diet has decreased, and there is also a greater consciousness of food quality and safety (Zhang, 2012). 19, ed. (1993), “Feminist Literary Criticism and the Deconstruction of Ads: Overview and Illustrative Analysis,” Journal of Consumer Research, 19 (March), 556–66. Festive centralization is often matched by local-level and regional divergence, as people in many walks of life appropriate nationalist stereotypes about authenticity into their own self-presentations. With a growing middle class has emerged the beginnings of a civil society which is likely to engender a greater consciousness of civil liberties and human rights. Consumer culture theory (CCT) is the study of consumption choices and behaviors from a social and cultural point of view, as opposed to an economic or psychological one. Scott, Linda M. (1990), “Understanding Jingles and Needledrop: A Rhetorical Approach to Music in Advertising,” Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (September), 223–36. William Wilkie, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 1–2. In 1933, the journalist Henry James Forman concluded that females between the ages of 8 and 19 attended the movies an average of 46 times a year in the 1920s. 2003). Otnes, Cele, Tina Lowrey, and L. J. Shrum (1997), “Toward an Understanding of Consumer Ambivalence,” Journal of Consumer Research, 24 (June), 80–93. (2003), Time, Space, and the Market: Retroscapes Rising, London: M. E. Sharpe. Consumer culture can be seen to work in a dual way through representations and sites. Kernan, Jerome (1979), “Presidential Address: Consumer Research and the Public Purpose,” in Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. ——— (2001), “Consuming the American West: Animating Cultural Meaning at a Stock Show and Rodeo,” Journal of Consumer Research, 28 (December), 369–98. Belk, Russell W. and Janeen Arnold Costa (1998), “The Mountain Myth: A Contemporary Consuming Fantasy,” Journal of Consumer Research, 25 (December), 218–40. In another vein, postassimilationist consumer research suggests that ethnic identities have, in some sense, become hypercultural in that the culture of origin is socially reconstructed as something consumable (costume, foods, crafts, music) as part of attempts to assert an anchoring for identity in fluid social contexts (Askegaard, Arnould, and Kjeldgaard 2005; Oswald 1999). Consumer culture is a system in which consumption, a set of behaviors found in all times and places, is dominated by the consumption of commercial products. Craig J. Thompson is the Gilbert and Helen Churchill Professor of Marketing, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 4251 Grainger Hall, 975 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; e-mail ( As Ryan asserts, “The twenties’ films gave precise details on how to become correctly modern” (p. 117). How should they participate in the emerging modern culture and remain respectable? Brown, Stephen, Robert Kozinets, and John F. Sherry Jr. (2003), “Teaching Old Brands New Tricks: Retro Branding and the Revival of Brand Meaning,” Journal of Marketing, 67 (July), 19–33. Although the rise of consumer culture democratized collecting, there is still a dominance by the more economically upscale and by males in most areas of adult collecting. Additionally, observers have noted that logistics costs are higher than in developed countries. 2004; Peñaloza 2001; Peñaloza and Gilly 1999; Sherry 1998), advertising information processing (Escalas and Stern 2003; McQuarrie and Mick 1992, 1996, 1999; Scott 1994a, 1994b; Stern 1995, 1996), customer satisfaction (Arnould and Price 1993; Fournier and Mick 1999), and consumer involvement (Coulter et al. American high-school and college girls began dieting, some obsessively tracking and recording their progress. Susan M. Broniarczyk and Kent Nakamoto, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 1–4. Wright, Peter (2002), “Marketplace Metacognition and Social Intelligence,” Journal of Consumer Research, 28 (March), 677–82. Wallendorf, Melanie and Michael D. Reilly (1983), “Ethnic Migration, Assimilation, and Consumption,” Journal of Consumer Research, 10 (December), 292–302. Advertising is now part of the interstitial tissue of daily life on this planet. Near this end are the ‘no place’ spaces of airports, chain hotels, and resorts, which also seek to offer the insecure customer, who has no time or inclination to browse or experiment, predictability and reliability. In this vein, Kozinets and Handelman (2004) call into question the standard assumption that a natural alliance exists between consumers and consumer activists. Self-Presentation in Personal Web Space,” Journal of Consumer Research, 30 (December), 385–404. Consumer culture theory has its historical roots in calls for consumer researchers to broaden their focus to investigate the neglected experiential, social, and cultural dimensions of consumption in context (Belk 1987a, 1987b; Holbrook and Hirschman 1982). ——— (1990), “A Sociocultural Analysis of a Midwestern Flea Market,” Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (June), 13–30. The fantasy of the malleable, perfect body leads to increasingly intrusive interventions and to postmodernism's cyborg imaginings. The movies allowed girl viewers to participate in a modern fantasy, without breaking social norms. In my nonrepresentative sample of collectors, men are much more likely than women to collect automobiles, guns, stamps, antiques, books, beer cans, wines, and sports-related objects, while women are much more likely than men to collect jewelry, housewares such as dishes and silver, and animal replicas. Consumer culture can be seen as offering and legitimating a wide range of aesthetic experiences and bodily pleasures, something that has become designed into goods and consumer spaces by the growing ranks of cultural intermediaries. Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) looks at consumers, brands, and markets from a social and cultural vantage point. What should they wear? Their predisposition to explore the full range of global cultures, to seek out new styles, or recycle traditions, and search for the exotic through travel makes them have dispositions that could be labeled postmodern, through their aesthetic interest in playing with signs and cultures. Performance of them becomes transformed to a nationalist, ‘mestizo’ rendition of Incaic authenticity and also an indigenous rendition of their increasing cultural spaces in the modern nation state. 1989; Fournier 1998; Grayson and Shulman 2000; Hirschman and Holbrook 1982; Joy and Sherry 2003; Mick and DeMoss 1990; Mick and Fournier 1998; Richins 1994; Rook 1985, 1987; Thompson 1996; Wallendorf and Arnould 1988). It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. According to Maffesoli, the forces of globalization and postindustrial socioeconomic transformation have significantly eroded the traditional bases of sociality and encouraged instead a dominant ethos of radical individualism oriented around a ceaseless quest for personal distinctiveness and autonomy in lifestyle choices. One specific form of this research that we would like to encourage strives to tell cultural history through the commodity form (broadly defined). (2003) explore how desiring consumer subjects are constituted by the marketplace ideals promulgated in the discourses of global corporate capitalism (also see Murray 2002; Thompson and Tambyah 1999). Thompson, Craig J. and Siok Kuan Tambyah (1999), “Trying to Be Cosmopolitan,” Journal of Consumer Research, 26 (December), 214–41. In the fervor of those debates, such calls for an ecumenical conception of relevance were sometimes misconstrued as a renunciation of managerial relevance. ——— (2000), “The Commodification of the American West: Marketers' Production of Cultural Meanings at a Trade Show,” Journal of Marketing, 64 (October), 82–109. For example, Mick and Buhl (1992) profile the way in which consumers' life themes and life projects shape their readings of advertisements. Hill, Ronald Paul and Mark Stamey (1990), “The Homeless in America: An Examination of Possessions and Consumption Behaviors,” Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (December), 303–21. 2004). This latter family of interpretive strategies gives rise to variegated forms of identity play and sometimes shades into strident criticisms of corporate capitalism and marketing as a social institution (Holt 2002; Kozinets 2002; Kozinets and Handelman 2004; Murray 2002; Thompson 2004). Here, the city as the home of both the bohemian and the flâneur is seen as an important repository or database, in providing some of the dangerous and exciting places and personae with which to generate new cultures and lifestyles. Levy, Sidney J. These patterns are supported by other studies of collectors in various specialty areas (e.g., Crispell, 1988; Dannefer, 1980; Gelber, 1992; Olmsted, 1988; Soroka, 1988; Stenross, 1994). Gould, Stephen J. ——— (1990), “Secular Immortality and the American Ideology of Affluence,” Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (June), 31–42. How should their bodies appear? In contrast to classic sociological accounts of subculture, in-group social status in these settings is achieved not through adherence to monolithic consumption norms but through displays of localized cultural capital (particular forms of knowledge and skills valued in the group) and skill in combining, reworking, and innovating the pool of symbolic resources that are shared by group members (see Belk and Costa 1998; Celsi et al. 2002; Muñiz and O'Guinn 2000), consumer lifestyles (Holt 1997; Thompson 1996), retail experiences (Kozinets et al. If consumer culture has helped to swell the ranks of service sector occupations, then within this group design and associated cultural intermediaries have become increasingly salient. Migration, however, is only a partial answer; urbanisation has tended not to narrow urban−rural inequality since peasant migrants, while remitting funds back to the countryside, earn low wages from the unskilled industrial and service sectors and, given the hukou system, are not considered permanent urban residents and thus ineligible for social welfare provision (Zhang, 2012). In this spirit, Kozinets (2001) explores how fan identity is constituted in relationship to utopian ideals and the cooptation of those ideas by corporate media; Belk et al. In this article, we offer a thematic overview of the motivating interests, conceptual orientations, and theoretical agendas that characterize this research stream to date, with a particular focus on articles published in the Journal of Consumer Research (JCR). Rather than factors like moral character and personality, physical attributes and the approval of peers became paramount in determining girls’ self-esteem. To avoid the error of reification, we stress that these research programs form a holistic research tradition. To paraphrase Geertz's (1973) famous axiom, however, consumer culture theorists do not study consumption contexts; they study in consumption contexts to generate new constructs and theoretical insights and to extend existing theoretical formulations. 2000; Rook 1985; Thompson 1996). The size of the market for hair dyes is testament to the power of the normalizing discourse and the attendant impulse towards conformity. In developing this argument, we redress three enduring misconceptions about the nature and analytic orientation of CCT. Accordingly, CCT researchers investigate how consumers consume (Holt 1995) across a gamut of social spaces (e.g., the home, the office, diverse retail settings, the Web, leisure enclaves, tourist sites), frequently making use of multiple data sources and triangulation techniques (Arnould and Price 1993; Belk et al. Nearly all Western children collect something and boys and girls are equally likely to collect (although not the same things) until adolescence (e.g., Danet and Katriel, 1989; Katriel, 1988/1989; McGreevy, 1990; Newson and Newson, 1968). The term consumer cultures refers to a theory according to which modern human society is strongly subjected to consumerism and stresses the centrality of purchasing commodities and services (and along with them power) as a cultural practice that fosters social behaviors.. We further suggest that this body of research fulfills recurrent calls by Association for Consumer Research (ACR) presidents and other intellectual leaders for consumer research to explore the broad gamut of social, cultural, and indeed managerially relevant questions related to consumption and to develop a distinctive body of knowledge about consumers and consumption (Andreasen 1993; Belk 1987a, 1987b; Folkes 2002; Holbrook 1987; Kernan 1979; Lehmann 1996; Levy 1992; MacInnis 2004; Olson 1982; Richins 2001; Sheth 1985; Shimp 1994; Wells 1993; Wright 2002; Zaltman 2000). The resources explanation also helps explain why collecting continues to be dominated by those with higher incomes.