Consumer Culture Theory (And We Really Mean Theoretics

Consumer Culture Theory

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1446-1, eISBN: 978-1-84855-984-4

ISSN: 0885-2111

Publication date: 7 June 2007


At both ACR 2004 and EACR 2005, Richard Elliott and Fuat Firat queried the need for CCT, and the thrust of their concerns seemed to be concerns with imposing CCT as a totalizing narrative. The major instigator of this totalizing concern is probably the singularizing semantics of CCT we adopted, which can be read – despite our original emphasis on the internal diversity of its constituent research traditions – as a call for a unified body of theory that is grounded in a vernacular of normal science and its epistemic goal of making incremental contributions to a system of verified propositions (Kuhn, 1962). It is worth noting that, for better or worse, this normal science orientation and its quest for a unified theory is taken as a normative goal (not a threat) by consumer researchers who work outside the CCT tradition. CCT, however, has emerged in the liberatory glow of the sociology of scientific knowledge (LaTour, 1988), reflexive critiques of power relations that are encoded in scientific narratives hailing from feminist, poststructural, and postcolonial critiques (see Bristor & Fischer, 1993; Haraway, 1994; Rosaldo, 1993; Thompson, Stern, & Arnould, 1998), and marketing's positivist–relativist debates (Anderson, 1986; Hudson & Ozanne, 1988). All have significantly problematized conventional notions of objectivity and the modernist project of totalizing theorizations.


Arnould, E. and Thompson, C. (2007), "Consumer Culture Theory (And We Really Mean Theoretics", Belk, R.W. and Sherry, J.F. (Ed.) Consumer Culture Theory (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-22.

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