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


Pilgrimage, material objects and spontaneous communitas
Higgins Leighanne, Hamilton Kathleen
Annals of Tourism Research Vol 81 (2020)
Exploring the relations in relational engagement : addressing barriers to transformative consumer research
Piacentini Maria G, Dunnett Susan, Hamilton Kathy, Banister Emma, Gorge Helene, Kaufman-Scarborough Carol, Nairn Agnes
Journal of Business Research Vol 100, pp. 327-338 (2019)
Consuming the abandoned past : discovering, imagining and documenting traces
Anderson Stephanie, Hamilton Kathy
Consumer Culture Theory conference (2019)
Consumer behaviour as I see it
Hamilton Kathleen
Consumer Behaviour (2019) (2019)
Therapeutic servicescapes and market-mediated performances of emotional suffering
Higgins Leighanne, Hamilton Kathy
Journal of Consumer Research Vol 45, pp. 1230-1253 (2019)
"They were built to last" : Anti-consumption and the materiality of waste in obsolete buildings
Anderson Stephanie, Hamilton Kathy, Tonner Andrea
Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Vol 37, pp. 195-212 (2018)

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

Routes to Publication Success
Mentor: PhD Research design seminar
Marketing Theory (Journal)
Editorial board member
Staff Research Seminar and PhD workshop
Academy of Marketing Workshop chair: Methodological Challenges when Conducting Consumer Research with Social Impact
Tears and rage – the rise of the emotional release industry

More professional activities


Transformative Servicescapes and consumer vulnerability
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Edwards, Sarah (Co-investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
How Can We Theorise With Social Impact Organisations?
Hamilton, Kathy (Co-investigator)
Transformative Consumer Research Project Funding of $3663, in collaboration with Agnes Nairn, University of Bristol; Susan Dunnett, University of Edinburgh Business School; Maria Piacentini, Lancaster University Management School; Emma Banister, Alliance Manchester Business School; Helene Gorge, University of Lille; Carol Scarborough, Rutgers School of Business
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
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
Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Logan, Ashleigh
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Hewer, Paul (Co-investigator) Logan, Ashleigh (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2012 - 02-Jan-2016
Glasgow school days remembered
Edwards, Sarah (Principal Investigator) Hamilton, Kathy (Co-investigator) Hammill, Faye (Co-investigator) Wagner, Beverly (Co-investigator) Wilson, Juliette (Co-investigator)
29-Jan-2011 - 05-Jan-2011
Hamilton, Kathy (Principal Investigator) Hewer, Paul (Co-investigator) Higgins, Leighanne (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2010 - 24-Jan-2014

More projects