The question of consumption emerged as a major focus of research and scholarship in the 1990s but the breadth and diversity of consumer culture has not been fully enough explored. The meanings of consumption, particularly in relation to lifestyle and identity, are of great importance to academic areas including business studies, sociology, cultural and media studies, psychology, geography and politics. The SAGE Handbook of Consumer Culture is a one-stop resource for scholars and students of consumption, where the key dimensions of consumer culture are critically discussed and articulated. The editors have organised contributions from a global and interdisciplinary team of scholars into six key sections: Part 1: Sociology of Consumption Part 2: Geographies of Consumer Culture Part 3: Consumer Culture Studies in Marketing Part 4: Consumer Culture in Media and Cultural Studies Part 5: Material Cultures of Consumption Part 6: The Politics of Consumer Culture

Chapter 22: Another Consumer Culture Theory. An ANT Look at Consumption, or How ‘Market-things’ Help ‘Cultivate’ Consumers

Another Consumer Culture Theory. An ANT Look at Consumption, or How ‘Market-things’ Help ‘Cultivate’ Consumers

Another Consumer Culture Theory. An ANT Look at Consumption, or How ‘Market-things’ Help ‘Cultivate’ Consumers
Franck CochoyAlexandre Mallard

Introduction

For more than forty years now, the field of consumer research has experienced an endless controversy about who and what consumers are, how they think and act, and how they should be studied. The main dispute opposes (on the one hand) the views of economists and psychologists, who conceive consumers as rational individual agents, possibly subject to various cognitive biases, and (on the other hand) the theories of other social scientists and marketing analysts, who insist on the importance of situated practices and consumer culture (Arnould and Thompson, 2005). However, both views implicitly ...

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