A History of French Consumer Culture Theory: Pathways and Key Concepts

Nil Özçağlar-Toulouse & Bernard Cova. Paper published in Recherche et Applications en Marketing, vol. 25, n° 2/2010.

This paper recapitulates the history of different French schools of thought that came together from the late 1980s through the early 2000s in a research program called Consumer Culture Theory (Arnould and Thompson, 2005). The various authors and studies that were part of this movement are presented in chronological order: their years of clandestinity, legitimization and then consolidation. What is identified is the emergence of the leading research themes with which French scholars are most concerned today. Mobilizing this history and relying on bibliometric research, we identify three leading French contributions to proto-CCT research: the appropriation of experience; the linking value of the goods and services that companies market; and the socio-semiotics of consumption. Our conclusion indicates future paths for research.

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