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European Doctoral School of Consumer Culture Theorizing

A formal collaboration between University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, Université Lille Nord de France-SKEMA Business School & Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, the “Doctoral School” series of  seminars focuses on various aspects of studying consumer behavior from a sociocultural perspective. The seminars constituting 24 ECTS credits in total, are run in a cycle of two years, so that a doctoral student can include them all within the frame of a normal period of doctoral studies.

The format of all seminars is quite similar; all are weeklong intensive seminars. The seminars are complementary but can also be taken individually. They feature a high degree of faculty-student interaction, and focus both on the general doctoral educational processes (creation of a body of knowledge) as well as integration of the students’ individual projects in the learning experience (application to a particular project).

The Doctoral School includes the following seminars:

Consumption Theory: A Canon of Classics

Run in Odense, Denmark, even years.

The purpose of this seminar is to critically investigate some of the key classics that constitute the foundation for many current perspectives in consumer research. Doctoral students thereby learn top better navigate the various foundational theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the research traditions, they encounter. The seminar aims to cover at least the standard references to social theorists encountered in consumer research but we add in various other canonical social theorists. Authors covered during the seminar varies from time to time but has  so far included among others: Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman, Jürgen Habermas, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Victor Turner and Max Weber.

The seminar also aims to enable the participants to conceptualize their work in relationship to the literature. A recurrent theme is the discussion of how to make use of the inspiration that can be provided by classical social theory without buying into a dogmatic logic of theoretical hegemony. The aim is to generate versatility, openness and the ability to critically consider general social theory and its relevance for consumer culture theorizing.

Download the preliminary program for the 2018 Odense seminar.

Consumption Markets and Culture Theorization

Run by Bilkent University, Turkey, odd years.

This seminar emphasizes mid-range and contextualized theory in the field of socio-cultural approaches to marketing and consumption. The purpose is to discuss contemporary the socio-culturally inspired studies of market, consumption and marketing or Consumer Culture Theoretics (CCT). The readings and the speakers highlight an interdisciplinary perspective and seek to expose the participants to sophisticated discussions of consumption and markets within marketing, anthropology, sociology, communication, and cultural and gender studies. These discussions center on mid-range and contextualized theory. The seminar emphasizes the historical, socio-cultural, political-economic and ethical dimensions and challenges of consumption and marketing in developed and developing nations in the contemporary global world.

The seminar also aims to enable the participants to conceptualize their work in relationship to the literature. Speakers and participants will discuss what constitutes a theoretical contribution and how to theorize and formulate a contribution.

A final purpose of the seminar is to increase the participants’ awareness of the expectations of international journals and review processes. There will be a faculty panel on “how to publish” research papers.

Download the program from the Bilkent seminar in 2017.

Consumer Culture Theory: Workshop on Methodology

Run at Université Lille Nord de France-SKEMA Business School, odd years.

This seminar focuses on qualitative methods and research design for studies adopting a cultural approach of consumption.

The overarching objective of the seminar is to familiarize young researchers with qualitative methods to be adopted when conducting consumer research projects. Faculty members and participants will be involved in reflecting upon the construction and coherence of their research design, as well as potential methodological contributions. Speakers will address the diversity of existing qualitative methods (interviews, ethnography, videography, historical approach…). The seminar furthermore addresses various analytical strategies for qualitative data, including but not limited to semiotics, grounded theory, etc. Related issues such as conducting a fieldwork on a sensitive topic, researchers' distance with the fieldwork, the use of videographies and etc. may also be discussed.

Download the program from the Lille seminar in 2017.

Silenced Voices in Consumer Culture Theory

Run in London, by Royal Holloway, even years.

This course is under construction – check back for an update on its content

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