MarketingConsumption, markets & society

Our group of researchers are from an interdisciplinary background with our research interests coalescing around how market-mediated culture impacts consumers, institutions and society at large. Our research falls under the umbrella of Interpretive Consumer Research and we employ a range of conventional and innovative qualitative research methods to generate theoretical advances concerning contemporary consumption and its consequences. These include ethnographic approaches (such as digital methods, interviews and participant observation), poetic inquiry, discourse analysis, semiotics, archival research and videography.

Our vibrant group of researchers have successfully attracted external research funding from various sources such as the ERSC, AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust, Carnegie Fund, Transformative Consumer Research Project Funding, and the Academy of Marketing. For example, a current project funded by the Leverhulme Trust explores transformative servicescapes and consumer vulnerability. Much of this work aligns with the university strategic themes of Health & Wellbeing and Society & Policy.

Some of our group are particularly interested in consumer research with social impact, a perspective that is well aligned with the university’s vision to be a socially progressive institution. For some examples see Academy of Marketing: Consumer Research with Social Impact SIG and Healthy Social Media working group. Much of our work prioritises research that has a transformative impact on consumer well-being, for example, projects on Consumer Vulnerability have investigated how various conditions and contexts, such as poverty or ill health, transform market interactions. The sustainable marketing sites of cultural heritage significance is another theme we work with, being attentive to the fine balance between commercial potential and their important role within community, national and religious identity. In relation to this, staff members have worked with, provided consultancy services to and contributed to events run by organisations including Glasgow Life, Highland Council and the Croatian Conservation Institute.

The group is also active in Engage with Strathclyde, the universality’s flagship programme to share our research with industry and the wider community. Events included:

  • Celebrating Local Community Involvement in Adopt A Station – April 2014
  • Ancestral Tourism in Scotland: learning more about our past - May 2015
  • Body Image and Eating Disorders: Future Research Priorities- May 2016
  • Social Media and body Image: Building a research community – April 2018
  • New Directions in Cultural Heritage Research (in collaborations with the Schools of History and English) – April 2019.
  • #HealthySocialMedia: Building Positive Body Image on Social Media – April 2019

Our group hold various positions of esteem within the broader consumer research community. For example, Hamilton is co-chair of the biennial Interpretive Consumer Research workshops, which is part of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management. The 2017 workshop told place in Stockholm and the 2019 event took place in Lyon. Tonner is co-chair of the British Sociological Association Food Studies Group and an organiser of their biennial International Conference, International Seminar Series and Research Methods Workshops. Bryce is an external partner at SOAS – University of London’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Ottoman Studies; has been an invited plenary speaker at the Inclusive Museums Conference at University of Manchester; an invited speaker by the Croatian Conservation Institute and Istrian Destination Management Organisation; and was invited twice to speak by the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology on the development of cultural tourism in Iran.

We regularly chair tracks at international conferences (e.g. Transformative Consumer Research, Macromarketing) and are also active in national and international PhD mentorship (e.g. through the Academy of Marketing doctoral colloquium or the seminars associated with the European Doctoral School of Consumer Culture Theorizing).

Our key themes

Our team is at the forefront of consumer research through our focus on a range of research themes which express the contemporary character of global consumption. These include:

  • Consumer Vulnerability
  • Consumption Communities
  • Food Consumption
  • Consumer Brands Relationships
  • Experiential Consumption
  • Therapeutic Consumption
  • Arts and Heritage Consumption
  • Heritage Authenticity
  • Cultural and Heritage Tourism
  • Celebrity cultures/celebrity branding
  • Liquid Modernity/Liquid times
  • Tribal marketing
  • Consumption of Popular Culture
  • Marketplace Stigma
  • Consumption of Space 
  • Place attachment and identity
  • Destination marketing

Recent publications

Our research is of interest to an interdisciplinary audience and this is reflected in our publication record.

Anderson, Stephanie, Hamilton, Kathy and Tonner, Andrea (2018). “They Were Built to Last”: Anticonsumption and the materiality of waste in obsolete buildings. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 37, 2, pp.195-212.

Anderson, Stephanie, Hamilton, Kathy, & Tonner, Andrea (2016). “Social labour: Exploring work in consumption,” Marketing Theory, 16, 3, pp. 383-400.

Bryce, D & Čaušević, S 2019, 'Orientalism, Balkanism and Europe's Ottoman heritage', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 77, pp. 92-105.

Bryce, D, Murdy, S & Alexander, M 2017, 'Diaspora, authenticity and the imagined past', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 66, pp. 49-60.

Davis, A., 2016. Experiential places or places of experience? Place identity and place attachment as mechanisms for creating festival environment. Tourism management55, pp.49-61.

Hewer, P. (2020) “Reimagining the terrain of liquid times: Reflexive Marketing and the Sociological Imagination”, Journal of Consumer Culture, available online

Higgins, Leighanne and Kathy Hamilton (2020) “Pilgrimage, Material Objects and Spontaneous Communitas,” Annals of Tourism Research, available online

Higgins, Leighanne and Kathy Hamilton (2019) “Therapeutic Servicescapes and Market-Mediated Performances of Emotional Suffering,” Journal of Consumer Research, 45, 6, pp. 1230-1253

Johnstone, JH, Bryce, D & Alexander, MJ 2019, 'Using mobile methods to understand multifaceted heritage organisations', International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 1675-1691

Piacentini, Maria G. Susan Dunnett, Kathy Hamilton, Emma Banister, Hélène Gorge, Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, Agnes Nairn (2019) “Exploring the Relations in Relational Engagement: Identifying Challenges and Overcoming Barriers,” Journal of Business Research, 100 (July), pp. 327-338

Tonner, Andrea. (2019). “Consumer culture poetry: insightful data and methodological approaches,” Consumption Markets & Culture, 22, 3, pp. 256-271.

Take a look at more of our publications.

Editorial roles

Members of the group are associate editors and on the editorial boards of the following internationally recognised marketing journals:

  • Journal of Marketing Management
  • Journal of Consumer Behaviour
  • Marketing Theory
  • Social Business
  • Consumption, Markets & Culture