Culture, desire and consumer culture in America in the new age of social media

Thomas Joseph Maschio (Maschio Consulting, Brooklyn, New York, USA)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Publication date: 12 September 2016



The purpose of this paper is to consider the role that consumer desire plays in the creation of new culture forms.


This paper is an opinion piece based on the author’s reflections on hundreds of in-depth ethnographic interviews, each generally of three to four hours length, carried out over the past 20 years, concerning a range of product categories and services, on behalf of a wide range of business clients.


The most significant finding is that a desire for new forms of sociality is driving the creation of new forms of commercial culture and of communication in culture.


This paper takes the novel approach of considering consumer desire as an engine of culture creation and of culture change.



This opinion piece is based on anthropological business research carried out for a range of Fortune 500 companies over the last 20 years of the author’s business consultancy practice. These include technology companies, car manufacturers and their advertisers, vitamin and herbal supplement manufacturers, social media companies and businesses in other categories.


Maschio, T. (2016), "Culture, desire and consumer culture in America in the new age of social media", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 416-425.

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