Consumer Culture Theory

An Anthropological Contribution to Consumption Studies

Authored by: Eric J. Arnould , Craig J. Thompson , Melea Press

The Routledge Companion to Anthropology and Business

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  June  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138496422
eBook ISBN: 9781003052456
Adobe ISBN:


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Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) addresses the rich mosaic of consumer culture and the ways it affects four behavioral clusters of theoretical and practical interest: personal identity; social roles; collectivities and affiliations; and belief systems and values in the framework of global market capitalism. Researchers examine how these interrelations are manifested across a wide range of consumption contexts and bring to light core commonalities, revealing points of distinction that help us better understand why consumers do what they do and why consumer culture takes the forms it does. The domain of consumption spans the acquisition, use, and disposition processes of things, experiences, services, images, and ideas. Not neglected is an examination of the various ideological currents through which consumers legitimate or alternatively contest consumer culture.

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