Consumer Culture Theory

Understanding and theorising consumption phenomena as embedded in and co-constituted by socio-cultural contexts.

Primary page content

Consumer Culture Theory, popularly known as CCT, is one of the key research themes at the IMS. Broadly speaking, CCT is an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to understand and theorise consumption phenomena as embedded in and co-constituted by their socio-cultural contexts.

To this end, CCT research regularly incorporates theories from Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Media and Communications, Social Psychology, and Gender and Queer Studies, among others. CCT scholars mostly draw on qualitative research methods in their theory building pursuits. Some of the substantive research topics explored by the CCT group at the IMS are consumer identity projects, market system dynamics, consumer lifestyles, gender, sexuality, collective routines, family consumption practices, religion, rituals, festivals, digital media practices, discursive framing, datafication, and ethics in contemporary consumer societies.

Research produced by the IMS CCT scholars has been published in top-tier marketing journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Theory, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and Consumption Markets & Culture. Some current projects of the IMS CCT group include conceptualising  family consumption routines, how gender equality changes wedding rituals, self-gift giving of bodily experiences, the significance of transitional objects in the context of gendered minorities, and how the sharing economy builds trust with consumers in emerging markets.