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Methodologies for Studying Consumer Culture

The range of research methods for studying consumption and consumer culture is diverse and reflects the array of methods that are available generally to researchers in the cultural, psychological, and social sciences. Principally, there are two methodological poles that can be identified in studies of consumer culture. First, we can observe researchers using methods reflecting positivist approaches based mainly on quantitative methods, including survey analysis, experimental designs, biophysical measurement, and cognitive testing. Along different lines, we can see researchers employing qualitative and interpretive methods based on interviews, ethnographic and participatory methods, material and object-based approaches, and semiotics.

The field of consumption studies is one where various disciplines from the social, psychological, and economic sciences meet to form a conglomerate field. By no means is there a ...

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