Consumption Culture and Consumer Behavior

Consumption Culture and Consumer Behavior
Lecturer Daniele Dalli

Semester Winter

The course will provide a theoretical account of consumption as a (mainly) cultural activity: consumers interact with each other, with the market, and socio-cultural institutions by means of consumption acts and activities and in so doing they express their identity. As such, consumption can be seen as both a collective, aggregate cultural phenomenon and an individual, subjective activity through which consumers contribute to the development and change of consumption and popular culture. The course will describe various facets of this process and outline the most recent trends in both theory and practice.

Course Outline
The course will introduce the theory of consumer behavior and its most important theoretical approaches: cognitive, behavioral, interpretive.
The interpretive approach will be analyzed in detail as it provides the most effective approach to appreciate the cultural dimension of consumption.
Then, the most important streams of research within the interpretive perspective will be addressed through lectures, cases, examples, and collective discussion:
– Consumer identity projects: how consumers create and manage their identity through purchase and consumption
– Marketplace cultures: how consumers connect to each other forming collective structures and movements depending on their consumption activities
– The socio-historical patterning of consumption: how consumer behavior is shaped by historical and social factors
– Mass-mediated marketplace ideologies and consumers’ interpretive strategies: how consumers interact with consumption culture in terms of values and ideology