Postmodern Consumer Research: The Study of Consumption as Text
Published in cooperation with the Association for Consumer Research “A clearly written and useful work. Their book lays out organizing principles that delineate the underlying epistemologies current in consumer research, providing insightful exposure to philosophical positions and associated research methods for both the experienced researcher and the novice…. The book provides insight into current epistemologies and associated methods and is an important resource for all consumer behavior researchers. It should be taken as a starting point for delving into and understanding consumer research, a springboard that directs the researcher to relevant theorists and provides a framework for assessing research perspectives.” --Journal of Marketing Research The methodological choices now confronting consumer researchers are daunting. For many years, researchers have wrestled with issues related to the nature ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- From Dualism to Interactionism and Communalism
- A Continuum of Philosophical Positions
Part One: The Philosophies
- Chapter 2: Empiricism
- Commonsense Empiricism
- Logical Empiricism
- Chapter 3: Socioeconomic Constructionism
- Mannheim's Sociology of Knowledge
- Genetic Structuralism
- Chapter 4: Interpretivism
- Structural Criticism
- Chapter 5: Subjectivism
- Chapter 6: Rationalism
Part Two: Methods
- Chapter 7: From Philosophy to Methodological Assumptions
- Chapter 8: Empiricism (Reflection of the Text)
- Chapter 9: Rationalism (Creation of the Text)
- Chapter 10: Socioeconomic Constructionism (Systematization of the Text)
- Chapter 11: Interpretivism (Translation of the Text)
- From the Common Culture of Consumption to a Scientific Subculture
- From One Scientific Subculture to Another
- From Culture to Culture
- The General Interpretive Strategy
- Chapter 12: Subjectivism (Construction of the Text)
- Phenomenological Strategies
- Existentialist Strategies
- Psychoanalytic Strategies
Part Three: Evaluating Research
[Page ii]For Ray and Sally, With Love
Copyright © 1992 by Sage Publications, Inc.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Postmodern consumer research: the study of consumption as text / Elizabeth C. Hirschman, Morris B. Holbrook.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8039-4742-9.—ISBN 0-8039-4743-7 (pbk.)
1. Consumers—Research. 2. Knowledge, Theory of—History. I. Holbrook, Morris B. II. Title.
92 93 94 95 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Sage Production Editor: Megan M. McCue
This book traces a continuum of epistemological positions and validity issues back to philosophical questions that stem from the Cartesian dualism between mind and matter. Each philosophical stance along this continuum corresponds to a methodological orientation applicable to consumer research. In this, the criteria for assessing the value of an inquiry parallel the underlying epistemologies. We advocate the need for greater tolerance toward the divergent perspectives of consumer researchers approaching their work from a variety of directions.
In preparing this book, we have received help from many people. In particular, we thank Sally Holbrook, John O'Shaughnessy, Julie Ozannne, and Barbara Stern for their valuable comments on an earlier draft of this book. We also express our gratitude to the publications committee of the Association for Consumer Research. Morris Holbrook gratefully acknowledges the support of the Columbia Business School's Faculty Research Fund.[Page viii]
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About the Authors[Page 145]
Elizabeth C. Hirschman is Professor of Marketing, School of Business, Rutgers University. She has published articles in a wide variety of social science and business journals including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Business, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Advertising, Harvard Business Review, Semiotica, Journal of Retailing, and Psychology and Marketing. Her primary research interests are philosophy of science, interpretive research methods and the semiotic analysis of cultural media. She is a past president and treasurer of the Association for Consumer Research and past vice-president of the American Marketing Association. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma.
Morris B. Holbrook is the Dillard Professor of Marketing in the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. He earned his bachelor's degree in English at Harvard in 1965. Both his MBA (1967) and Ph.D. (1975) are in Marketing from the Columbia [Page 146]Business School. Holbrook's research applies a broad range of methods from the social sciences and humanities to issues related to communication, consumer esthetics, semiotics, hermeneutics, and other aspects of symbolic behavior. He has published widely in the areas of marketing and consumer research on topics related to the media, entertainment, advertising, and the arts.