Reflections on a reimagined future for consumer research

Hewer, Paul (2024) Reflections on a reimagined future for consumer research. Journal of Marketing Management, 40 (7-8). pp. 619-627. ISSN 0267-257X (

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This paper is born of the joy and pain of institutional life. It responds to recent work by Craig Thompson and is a response to an invitation to participate from the Editor of the JMM (Mark Tadajewski). It seeks to take seriously the role of consumer research and consumption within society. It seeks to tell ‘better stories’ about the past, present and what it sees as a reimagined future for consumer research. To do so, it revisits some of the canonical works of consumer research, such exemplary work it suggests are worthy of revisiting and critiquing if we are to chart a rejuvenated form of consumer research that takes seriously our contemporary predicament and is more critical and incisive in its intent. With renewed purpose it takes on board the insights around Bauman’s notion of ‘liquid times’, offers a range of opportunities, possibilities and dangers around the conflicted consumer self and puts forward an ABC of critical consumer research, where notions of affect, breakdown, contradiction are taken seriously for their theoretical and practical insights.