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2020/2021  BA-BSOCO1841U  Consumer Culture and Marketing

English Title
Consumer Culture and Marketing

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • Stefan Schwarzkopf - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 05-11-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Having successfully completed the course, students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of marketing management processes and the limitations of the managerial view of marketing processes
  • Explain how consumer culture theory (CCT) challenges managerial views of consumer behaviour
  • Apply concepts from social theory presented in the course to examine the relationship between consumers, markets, products and cultural intermediaries
  • Explain and exemplify how marketing theories perform markets, especially in relation to the role of equipment, objects and calculative practices in consumer marketing
  • Identify and explain basic elements of qualitative consumer research methods
Consumer Culture and Marketing:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

You have 4 hours to do the assignment.


Based on two essay-type questions. Both questions need to be answered.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Course Content and Aims

This course will introduce undergraduate students to managerial and socio-theoretical perspectives on marketing and the consumption process. The main focus of the course will be the discussion of various approaches to the understanding of consumer behaviour and the active role of consumers in shaping contemporary markets. The course starts with a block of meetings that will show how managerial marketing strategy identifies and attempts to shape consumer attitudes and behaviours. In the following block, these managerial views will be juxtaposed with socio-theoretical approaches to consumption, namely consumer culture theory (CCT), critical theory and consumers as active co-creators of value, Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical approach to taste and symbolic consumption, and approaches associated with the Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) tradition that interprets markets as performed by theory and by agencements of human and non-human actors. The final block introduces basic principles of qualitative consumer research. In this block, students will also leave the class-room and conduct a field trip to observe a daily consumption practice in situ. This exercise is designed to help students put into practice the theoretical insights gained during the previous meetings. After the field observation, students will meet for an additional studio-based workshop to discuss their insights and interpretations.


The course consists of 3 thematic blocks.

Block 1 – Marketing Management

Block 2 – Sociology of Consumption

Block 3 – Elements of Consumer Research

Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of 3 thematic blocks. These cover managerial marketing theory, critical sociology of markets and consumption, and principles of qualitative consumer research. Each block will consist of several sessions, and each session will be structured as a 2-hour meeting, based on a mix of lectures and case study discussions. The first part of the session meeting will typically be a lecture which introduces and positions the week’s core theoretical concepts and major thinkers in a particular sociological tradition. The second part of the meeting will typically introduce a case study and/or problem situation which students will be asked to work on in groups. In class, students will be asked to present and discuss their answers, findings and choice of approach.
Feedback during the teaching period
Throughout the course, especially at the end of lectures, students will have the chance to test their knowledge in the form of, for example, mini-quizzes and other exercises. Students should use these exercises to talk about what they have learned in class. After Block 2 of the Seminar Topics, students will be invited to sign up as groups and take part in a mock exam, for which feedback will be given. In class, further collective feedback is given to some of the tests. Students are invited to make use of office hours.
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Exam 4 hours
Preparation of classes and exam, additional readings 166 hours
Last updated on 05-11-2020