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Everything you always wanted to know about interpretive consumer research but were afraid to ask

Bernard Cova (Euromed Marseilles – School of Management, Marseille, France Università Bocconi, Milan, Italy)
Richard Elliott (University of Bath School of Management, UK St Anne's College, Oxford, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to introduce the contents of the special issue and to clarify and extend conceptual and managerial debates concerning interpretive consumer research (ICR).


A discursive approach is adopted. The arguments are supported by quotes from authoritative publications in the field.


Researching the consumer has progressed far beyond the research for managerial implications and has become a major focus for the social sciences. In the field of qualitative market research, interpretive approaches to studying consumer behaviour are playing an increasing role. However, the economic and psychological heritage of consumer behaviour impedes appreciation of their aims, analytic logics, and methodological contributions. Ten issues about ICR are detailed in order to provide an integrative overview of what ICR is or is not.


Provides an insider's view and serves as a useful overview of debates and developments in the field.



Cova, B. and Elliott, R. (2008), "Everything you always wanted to know about interpretive consumer research but were afraid to ask", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 121-129.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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