Consumer Culture Theory Summary

1675 Words7 Pages
Within this critical literature review, the article which will be under analysis is “low- income families and coping through brands: Inclusion or stigma?” which was written by Kathy Hamilton in 2012. The article concentrates on the coping strategies used by single parents and low-income families to avoid stigmatisation and threats upon their social identities. Therefore, to avoid stigmatisation these low-income families may take part in conspicuous consumption where families may spend a lot of money on luxury goods to make themselves look better, which can give them a sense of economic power and acceptance within society. However, due to the rise of ‘chav’ culture surrounding single mothers, it can be much harder to move away from stigmatisation,…show more content…
Consumer Culture Theory is a theoretical approach which emerged in the 1980s, however, it was Arnould and Thomson (2005) who published a journal article summarising the past 20 years of consumer research. Consumer culture theory addresses the “complex relationships between consumer actions, the marketplace and cultural meaning” (Wang, 2014, p.252). In other words, consumer cultural theorists are interested in consumption patterns, the reasons behind consumer actions and why everyday values/beliefs can be linked to consumption (Askegaard, 2015). Aspects of this theory are shown in Hamilton 's article, as people will try different coping strategies like consumption to make themselves look better and to move away from any negative stereotypes. This leads on to labelling theory because single mothers are often labelled as ‘chavs’ according to Hamilton, therefore, they can be more likely to live up to this label, which makes it harder for them to continue the normal routines of everyday life which can lead to abnormal actions (Becker, 2008). Although, labelling theory can be criticised as not everyone who is labelled will live up to that label. Being labelled can motivate people to move away from negative stereotypes, which is shown within the article as single-mothers take part conspicuous consumption to move away from these labels, rather than act on them; which can remove the stigma surrounding single-mothers and chavs. Merton 's strain theory (1968, p.230) is present within the article, whereby people will turn to crime to attain their desired goods if they cannot do it through legitimate means (hard work, education). Denise and Barry believe they have to buy their children designer brands so that their children do not

More about Consumer Culture Theory Summary

Open Document