English   Danish

2018/2019  KAN-CCMVV4017U  Consumer Culture Theory (CCT)

English Title
Consumer Culture Theory (CCT)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Hanne Pico Larsen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 07-02-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The aim of the course is, on the one hand, to introduce students to the fundamental theoretical frameworks within the field of Consumer Culture Theory; and, on the other, to have students apply these frameworks and critically reflect upon some of the most typical phenomena in consumer culture of today. More specifically, having completed the course students are expected to:
  • Describe and explain the fundamental theoretical concepts and frameworks within the field of Consumer Culture Theory conceptualizing the consumer, culture, consumption and marketing as well as the relationship between them
  • Apply these different theoretical concepts and frameworks on some typical phenomena in consumer culture of today in order to describe and analyze these phenomena
  • Apply these different theoretical concepts and frameworks on some typical phenomena in consumer culture of today and critically reflect on how different frameworks affect the analysis
  • Critically reflect on theoretical and practical aspects the field of Consumer Culture Theory and its relation to adjacent fields.
Consumer Culture Theory:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
* if the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.
Course content and structure

The aim of the course is to introduce students to Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), a family of theoretical approaches viewing consumption not as an individual need-fulfilling activity but as a way to construct and communicate meaning in society.Consumer culture can be described as the context where this meaning construction and communication takes place. In consumer culture, consumers as well as public and commercial actors of different sorts are in a constant process of negotiating the meanings of things and services and students are introduced to theories investigating these negotiation processes. Upon completing the course, students should be able to understand the role which companies and consumers as well as public institutions play in consumer culture. Students will reflect and apply the knowledge about various CCT theories learned through textbooks and academic journal articles. The CCT perspective is of uttermost importance to marketers working in an increasingly uncertain and complex world of marketing practices, facing various ethical, moral and social dilemmas as part and parcel of their marketing work.
The course will cover the following areas:
·         Theoretical approaches to consumption;
·         The role of marketing in consumer culture;
·         Critical approaches to marketing and consumption
·         The history of consumer culture;
·         Consumption, modernism and postmodernism;
·         Needs and wants;
·         Branding, identities and meaning ;
·         Advertising, semiotics and meaning;
·         Consumer resistance;
·         Ethics and globalization

Description of the teaching methods
The course is designed to be highly interactive and build upon principles of active learning. Students are expected to comment on readings, lead discussions, and are invited to do group exercises throughout the course.
Key theoretical frameworks, concepts and issues in consumer culture theory, will be discussed in more traditional lecture based presentations from the course instructor.
Feedback during the teaching period
During the semester the students are assigned short in class assignments which will allow them to get needed feedback. Assignments are typically based on reading questions discussed in groups. Short presentations are then to be discussed with peers, as well as the teacher and thereby assure the students, that they are able to critically reflect upon readings/ apply theories to other situations/topics relevant for the course (Se learning objectives).
Student workload
Forberedelse 123 hours
Undervisning 33 hours
Eksamen 50 hours
Expected literature

Ellis, N. et al. (2011), Marketing: A Critical Textbook, Los Angeles, London, New York: Sage.

MA Theses :

Foo, Miriam Marquard (2017): From Jewelry Selections – You are what you Wear and the Stories you Keep.

Jackson, Anne Toldbod (2016): Value Creation in Commercial Pop-Up Activities: A Qualitative Study of Value Co-Creation from a Consumer Perspective.

Ølgod, Birgitte Friis (2016): You are what you Eat – and the Company you Keep.



Arnould, Eric J. & Craig J. Thompson (2005), "Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research," Journal of Consumer Research, 31 (March): 868-882.



Søren Askegaard & Jeppe Linnet (2011), “Towards an Epistemology of Consumer Culture Theory: Phenomenology and the Context of Context”, Marketing Theory, vol. 11 (4), 381-404.


Bardhi, Fleura, Jacob Östberg & Anders Bengtsson (2010), "Negotiating cultural boundaries: food, travel and consumer identities," Consumption Markets & Culture, 13 (2): 133-157.


Belk, Russell W (1988),  “Possessions and the Extended Self,” Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (2): 139-168.


Belk, Russell & Gregory S. Coon (1993) “Gift Giving as Agapic Love: An Alternative to the Exchange Paradigm Based on Dating Experiences,” Journal of Consumer Research 20 (3): 393-417.


Belk, Russell W., Güliz Ger & Søren Askegaard (2013),”The Fire of Desire: A Multisited Inquiry into Consumer Passion,” Journal of Consumer Research, 30 (3):  326-351


Cova, Bernard (1997), "Community and Consumption: Towards a definition of the Linking Value of Products and Services, European Journal of Marketing, 31 (3/4): 297-316.


Firat Fuat, A. and Alladi Venkatesh (1995), "Liberatory postmodernism and reenchantment of consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, 22 (3): 239-267.


Frow, P., Adrian, Pennie Payne, &  Kaj Storbacka  (2011). Co-creation: a typology and conceptual framework.  Proceedings of ANZMAC (pp. 1-6).


Jantzen, Christian & Per Østergaard, (2001). “Shifting perspectives in consumer research: From buyer behaviour to consumption studies.”  Interpretive consumer research, 9-23 (Book Chapter)


Kjeldgaard, Dannie & Jacob Östberg (2007), "Coffee grounds and the global cup: Glocal consumer culture in Scandinavia," Consumption, Markets & Culture, 10 (2): 175-187.


Llamas, Rosa & Thyra U. Thomsen (2016), “The Luxury of Igniting Change by Giving: Transforming Yourself While Transforming Other’s Lives,” Journal of Business Research, 6 (1), 166-176.


Puntoni, Stefano, Jonathan Schroeder and Mark Ritson (2010), "Meaning matters: polysemy in advertising," Journal of Advertising, 39 (2): 51-64.


Saarijärvi, Hannu, P.K Kannan & Hannu  Kuusela. (2013). Value co-creation: theoretical approaches and practical implications. European Business Review, 25(1): 6–19


Scott, Linda M. (1992), "Playing with Pictures: Postmodenrism, Poststructuralism, and Advertising Visuals," Advances in Consumer Research, eds. John Sherry and Brian Sternthal, Provo: UT: 596-612


Thompson, Craig & Arsel, Zeynep (2004), "The Starbucks Brandscape and Consumers' (Anticorporate) Experiences in Glocalization," Journal of Consumer Research, 31 (December): 631-42


Vargo Sl. L. & R. F. Lush (2004), “Evolving to a New Dominant Logic For Marketing,” Journal of Marketing,“68 (January), 1-17


Vargo Sl. L. & R. F. Lush (2008), “Service Dominant Logic: Continuing the Evolution,” Journal of Academic Marketing Science, 36 (1), 1-10.


Wallendorf, Melanie & Eric Arnould (1991) “’We Gather Together’: Consumption Rituals of Thanksgiving Day” Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (1), 13-31.


Östberg, Jacob (2011). “The Mythological Aspects of Country-of-Origin: The Case of Swdishness of Swedish Fashion.” Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 2-4, 223-234.

Last updated on 07-02-2018