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2023/2024  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 Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Szilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Communication
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 15-02-2023

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
Release of assignment An assigned subject is released in class
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading 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.
Description of the exam procedure

The examination is a home assignment based on a case and designed along the learning objectives of the module stipulated in the curriculum. The assignment paper must be prepared individually. In answering the questions, students are expected to incorporate theoretical literature from the syllabus as well as relevant empirical examples. The submitted response paper is expected to be well-founded and articulate, demonstrating independence, analytic skills and creativity. Sources and references are to be indicated clearly and according to conventional academic practice. The submitted response paper may not exceed 15 pages (excluding tables, figures and references).

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The aim of the course is to introduce students to Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) and to innovative research methods that are particularly appropriate to analyze contemporary consumption. The theoretical perspectives offered by CCT focus on the societal and cultural context of consumption and market-mediated meaning. The consumer culture perspective offers an in-depth analytical framework to understand of dominant, emerging or disruptive market trends, ranging from hedonistic overconsumption to frugal "markets of moral". Based on diverse empirical examples and hands-on excercises, students will analyse meaning- and taste-making practices, in which individuals, commercial businesses and public actors negotiate meaning and symbolic values associated with goods and services. We will deconstruct the role of hegemonic and counter-cultural values in enhancing and positioning consumer identities or to build social bonds. Upon completing the course, students should be able to understand how companies, consumers as well as public institutions shape (and being shaped by) 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 for marketers embarking on a professional career in a complex, culturally diverse and ideologically divided market, where sensitivity towards ethical, moral and social dilemmas are part and parcel of the business.
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;
·         Taste regimes, taste engineering and cultural intermediaries
·         Branding, identities and meaning;
·         Advertising, market semiotics and aesthetics
·         Communities of consumption (consumer tribes and subcultures)
·         Consumer resistance; political consumerism; post (anti) consumerism
·         Ethics and globalization, sustainability, consumer citizenship

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.
Each module offers a hands-on excercise to extend students' methodical toolbox, eg. field raid, netnography, sensuous methods, follow-the-object, etc.
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 and method drills 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
Further Information

Expected literature




Kravets, O., Maclaran, P., Miles, S., & Venkatesh, A. (Eds.). (2018). The SAGE handbook of consumer culture. Thousand Oaks: Sage.



Belk, R., Fischer, E. & Kozinets, R. (2013). Qualitative Consumer & Marketing Research. London: Sage/




App. 12 articles

Last updated on 15-02-2023