This review takes stock of the development of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) and provides a perspective from which this field of research can be framed, synthesized, and navigated. This review takes a conceptual and historical approach to map the rich theoretical inventory cultivated over almost 40 years of culturally-oriented research on consumption. The authors describe how CCT has emerged, chart various approaches to consumer culture studies, outline the dominant research domains, identify debates and controversies that circulate in the field, discuss the latest conceptual and methodological developments, and share managerial implications of a CCT approach. From this vantage point, they point to some promising directions for CCT research.
Consumer Culture Theory: Development, Critique, Application and Prospects is a guide to help readers find their way through existing Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) literature, the most current conceptual and methodological developments, managerial implications, and potential avenues of future importance.
First, the authors elaborate on the nature of Consumer Culture Theory. Second, they address different approaches in CCT, including the humanistic/romantic, the social constructivist, and the postmodern modes of inquiry. Third, the monograph examines domains of inquiry in CCT, identifying significant streams including identity work, marketplace cultures, the socio-historic patterning of consumption, an ideological turn, and critiques of CCT. Fourth, it identifies some methodological issues and innovations that CCT work has addressed, including issues of data collection, interpretation, around validity and verification. The authors also evoke work on alternative modes of representing research. Fifth, this monograph introduces how CCT research has addressed managerial and strategic issues, such as through brand communities, branding, and how consumers shape market systems. Finally, it discusses tendencies that are emerging in CCT.