Transformative Consumer Culture Theory?

Transformative Consumer Culture Theory?


Co-chairs: Julie L. Ozanne and Susan Dobscha

Discussants: Eric Arnould and Craig Thompson



“We are What They Consume: The Neglect of the Non-consumers”

June N. P. Francis


This paper argues that the field’s current focus on consumers provides only a limited perspective on the effects of consumption activities. It ignores the culturally or economically marginalized groups who may not be consumers but are affected by these consumption activities.  For example, drawing on social identity theory, the paper suggests that some consumption acts may be used to provide a positive image for the consuming group at the expense of the group whose image is affected by the consumption.


 “Communities Beyond the Brand”

Eileen Fischer and Lisa Peñaloza

            Considerable recent work investigates the ways in which particular brands form the basis for communities. This paper re-examines research on communities that are not based upon brands, in particular, studies concerned with communities of marginalized racial and ethnic minorities. It explores the transformative potential of consumer research on marginalized racial/ethnic communities, and suggests how Consumer Culture Theory can benefit from more explicitly acknowledging social and market oppositions in communities, thereby advancing its critical potential.


“Transformational Theory and Methodology”

Jeff B. Murray and Julie L. Ozanne

We propose “interpretive structuralism” as a method for critical theory and transformative consumer research (Morrow and Brown 1994). This approach embraces insights from both hermeneutics and structuralism. The interpretive tradition emphasizes idiographic interpretations of social beings that contextualizes and localizes social action. But the hermeneutical tradition refuses to engage in social critique or offer paths for social change. The structural tradition offers insights into the relationship between agency and structure and gives avenues for connecting our theories to practical social action. By way of illustration, we present the results of an analysis of a depth interview using interpretive structuralism.


Session Chair: Julie Ozanne and Discussion Leader: Craig Thompson ( and Eric Arnould) (2006) ,"Transformative Consumer Culture Theory? ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 520-522.


Session Chair: Julie Ozanne, Virginia Tech
Discussion Leader: Craig Thompson ( and Eric Arnould), University of Wisconsin (University of Nebraska)


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33 | 2006

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