Roots and development of consumer culture theory

Sidney J Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose-This paper aims to trace the roots and development of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) through the eyes of major participants in this field of study. Methodology/approach-The report is a qualitative essay based on data accumulated and integrated from several directions: the CCT literature, reminiscent versions by significant scholars, and participant/observation by the author. Findings-The CCT conferences began in 2005, sparked by the contribution of Eric Arnould and Craig Thompson. However, earlier versions are traced through the growth of interest in the study of consumer behavior starting in ancient times and spurred by the surge of post-World War II prosperity and technological advances. The expansion of consumer studies through the Association for Consumer Research (ACR), the Journal of Consumer Research (JCR), and the Heretical Consumer Research (HCR) were precursors of CCT. Perspectives are provided by Shankar and Patterson, Mark Tadajewski, Russell Belk, Fuat Firat, and Markus Geisler, with a special emphasis on early roots by the author. Originality/value-The paper is novel in its application of The Rashomon Effect which shows how different scholars perceive a particular historical phenomenon. It is also a useful example of the qualitative orientation of CCT culture and style in studying situations, both contemporary and historical, to gain holistic insights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Consumer Behavior
StatePublished - 2015


  • Consumer Culture Theory
  • Diverse historical perspectives
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Marketing


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