Professor Kathy Hamilton


Personal statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2006. I’m currently a professor in the Department of Marketing. 


I predominantly teach on consumer behaviour classes. This is reflective of my research interests which contribute to the Department’s “Consumption, Markets and Society” research stream. I also teach an Advanced Qualitative Methods class on the Strathclyde Business School MRes programme. I am the Accounting, Finance, Business and Management Pathway Representative for the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership. If you are considering an application to the studentship competitions you are welcome to get in touch.


I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of Marketing Management and on the editorial board for Marketing Theory and Social Business. I am co-chair of the Consumer research with Social Impact Special Interest Group within the Academy of Marketing. I am also part of the organising committee for the biennial Interpretive Consumer Research (ICR) seminars (part of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management).


Has expertise in:

    • Consumer Culture
    • Consumer Vulnerability
    • Consumer Poverty
    • Consumer Communities
    • Consumer research with social impact
    • Therapautic Consumption


Consumer vulnerability : conditions, contexts and characteristics
Hamilton Kathy, Dunnett Susan, Piacentini Maria
Routledge Studies in Critical Marketing Routledge Studies in Critical Marketing (2016)
New Directions in Consumer Research
Hewer Paul, Hamilton Kathy, Jafari Aliakbar
A 'placeful' station? The community role in place making and improving hedonic value at local railway stations
Alexander Matthew, Hamilton Kathy
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice Vol 82, pp. 65-77 (2015)
Mini-miracles : transformations of self from consumption of the Lourdes pilgrimage
Higgins Leighanne, Hamilton Kathy
Journal of Business Research Vol 69, pp. 25-32 (2016)
Recapturing place identification through community heritage marketing
Alexander Matthew, Hamilton Kathy
European Journal of Marketing Vol 50, pp. 1118-1136 (2016)
Commercialised nostalgia : staging consumer experiences in small businesses
Hamilton Kathy, Wagner Beverly A
European Journal of Marketing Vol 48, pp. 813-832 (2014)

More publications


I teach classes related to consumer behaviour at UG, Honours and Masters level and Advanced Qualitative Methods on our MRes programme. I have received regular nominations for the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards. I am also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

My research falls at the intersection of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) and Transformative Consumer Research (TCR). The CCT perspective guides my theoretical contributions in terms of how market-mediated contemporary culture impacts consumers, institutions and society at large. The TCR perspective is more impact oriented and is a movement that encourages research that benefits well-being and quality of life within the context of consumer culture.


I have a longstanding interest in consumer vulnerability and how various contexts, such as poverty, transform market interactions. Some of my central research themes have been gender and family dynamics of poverty, representations of poverty, coping with vulnerability and marketplace stigma. I co-hosted an ESRC seminar series on the theme of consumer vulnerability with Dr Susan Dunnett (University of Edinburgh) and Prof Maria Piacentini (Lancaster University) and have published an edited book (2016) entitled "Consumer Vulnerability: Conditions, Contexts and Characterisitcs" as part of the Routledge Studies in Critical Marketing Series. I am also interested in therapeutic consumption and have a recent article in the Journal of Consumer Research which focuses on theorising therapeutic servicescapes (with Dr Leighanne Higgins, Lancaster University).


I am currently leading an interdisciplinary project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on transformative servicescapes and consumer vulnerability that focuses on how public service spaces can ameliorate vulnerability in relation to community cohesion, social mobility and social and digital inclusion. I am also working with an international group of colleagues on a Transformative Consumer Research project that explores how academics can best initiate and nurture relationships with organisations whose mission it is to have social impact. 


My work has been published in journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, European Journal of Marketing, Sociology, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, and Journal of Marketing Management. I have also edited a 4 volume set on New Directions in Consumer Research (with Dr Paul Hewer and Dr Aliakbar Jafari, University of Strathclyde).

Professional activities

2014 ESRC Festival of Social Science
Moving Beyond Description: A Hybrid Workshop on Qualitative Data Analysis
Exploring Transformative Servicescapes through Risographs, Illustrations and Graphic Recordings
Reframing Domesticity: Food and Public Engagement in a Women’s Museum
Invited speaker at the 'Vulnerability across Disciplines' conference. Presentation Title: Consumer Vulnerability and the Transformative Role of Community Space
Academy of Marketing Conference

More professional activities


ESRC Vulnerable Consumers Seminar series
Hamilton, Kathy (Co-investigator) Piacentini, Maria (Co-investigator) Dunnett, Susan (Principal Investigator)
Funding of £17589 to run a series of 6 seminars on consumer vulnerability
01-Jan-2012 - 30-Jan-2014
30 years of Transformation
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Porteous, Holly (Principal Investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Principal Investigator)
This zoom event focused on sharing research findings and discussing the wider impact of the research in an informal and non-academic setting. Coinciding with our case organization’s 30th anniversary, the event will celebrate 30 years of transforming lives and look ahead to the next decade.
17-Jan-2022 - 17-Jan-2022
Meet the Researchers
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Principal Investigator) Porteous, Holly (Principal Investigator)
Running over several sessions, this is an open-invite for anyone interested in the project to drop in to the exhibition to ask questions, or hear more about the findings.
- Wednesday 2nd March, 2pm to 4pm
- Thursday 10th March, 5pm to 7pm
- Saturday 19th March, 1pm to 3pm
- Friday 25th March, 10am to 12pm
02-Jan-2022 - 25-Jan-2022
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Principal Investigator) Porteous, Holly (Principal Investigator)
Transformations is an art and audio-visual exhibition that ran in Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) from 1st March to 15th April 2022. The exhibition is supported by funding from the Marketing Trust and Academy of Marketing. The exhibition features:
- a collection of risograph prints that were created during our Arts-based Research. The prints depict personal expressions of what difference GWL has made to women’s lives.
- A series of illustrations that combine the words of some of our interview participants with artwork commission from Jules Scheele.
- An audio-visual presentation that uses the research findings as a knowledge base to inform recommendations on inclusive services and spaces.
This event is aimed at anyone who is interested in GWL’s work, as well as anyone looking to find inspiration on how to be more inclusive in their own organisation.
01-Jan-2022 - 15-Jan-2022
Age-Friendly Servicescapes: Building Inclusive Markets for Older Consumers
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2022
Transformative Servicescapes and consumer vulnerability
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Edwards, Sarah (Co-investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Co-investigator) Porteous, Holly (Researcher)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022

More projects