chapter  1
22 Pages

Origins, Qualities, and Envisionments of Transformative Consumer Research

ByDavid Glen Mick, Simone Pettigrew, Cornelia Pechmann, Julie L. Ozanne

For millennia, humans have asked themselves, what is the good life? Answers to this perplexing question cannot be developed in any detail without reference to personal and collective consumption behaviors. Without consumption-at least at the basic level of air, water, food, and shelter-life ceases. Tragically, millions of people today in developing economies still face uncertain survival because they lack some or all of these necessities (Worldwatch Institute, 2004). At the same time, consumption in economically vigorous regions has increased in volume and variety to such degrees that living, thriving, su ering, and dying are more interdependently connected to the acquiring, owning, and disposing of products than in any other historical era (see, e.g., Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Schor & Holt, 2000; Speth, 2008). Consumption now facilitates a myriad of purposes and consequences, from nourishment, contentment, and achievement to gluttony, disfranchisement, and destruction.