The literature of marketplace behaviour, long dominated by economic and psychological discourse, has matured in the last decade to reveal the vast expanse of consumption activity not adequately addressed – in either theoretical or empirical perspective - by the discipline's favoured approaches. The lived experience of consumption in cultural and historical context, rendered in a fashion that is both intellectually insightful and authentically evocative, and that recognizes the dynamics of accommodation and resistance that characterize the individual's relationship with the market, is the central interpretive thrust of an emerging interdisciplinary field inquiry broadly labelled "consumer culture theory."
In this volume, some of the leading scholars of this field explore in great empirical detail and theoretical depth the relationships that the consumer has developed both with goods and services and with the stakeholders that animate markets. Beginning with an examination of the underpinnings of cultural inquiry, the focus then shifts to specific consumption venues. Analyses of advertising in personal, critical and historical perspective, examination of lifestyle trends from dwelling practices of transnational nomads and regimes of personal training to genetic testing and gambling, interpretations of the dynamics of brand loyalty and corporate image management, and investigation of family consumption rituals are among the topics explored in ethnographic and humanistic perspective.