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Books in English








Making Sense of Consumption
Lena Hansson, Ulrika Holmberg & Helene Brembeck (eds) (2013).
Centre for Consumer Science, University of Gothenburg.

"Consumption can be seen as an intricate network in constant transformation involving a multitude of actors. It challenges the way we study consumption and consumers. In 22 chapters “Making sense of consumption” invites you to increase your understanding about what consumption is all about, how to study this elusive phenomenon and how to explore its sensual aspects.

This anthology aims to illustrate the versatility that characterised the 2nd Nordic Conference on Consumer Research in terms of theoretical and methodological approaches, fields and disciplines. The result is an appetizing and intriguing overview of the research frontier of contemporary interdisciplinary consumption research in the Nordic countries. It is suitable for researchers, graduate students and professionals."

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book cover Little Monsters

Little Monsters (De)coupling assemblages of consumption
Editors: Helene Brembeck, Karin M. Ekström, Magnus Mörck, 2007
ISBN 978-3-8258-0281-3

This book is about stories of consumption beyond the culture - economy divide. By bringing along ActorNetworkTheory, entities that in conventional approaches are taken for granted, such as consumers, goods and companies that prove to be unstable assemblages of humans, goods and technologies. We meet materialistic children and parents creating an intimate moment at McDonald's, car poolers trying to get out of the grip of individual transportation, young couples imagining a home i that odd reversal of private space, the furniture store and grown men practicing a hobby so close to childhood that it causes unease. These, and other examples, line that up as our monsters, ready to act out the drama.

To order the book please contact LIT Verlag

universal design

Universal design - a marketable or utopian concept?
Lena Hansson, 2006

Design constitutes a signifi cant dimension in contemporary Western consumption societies. The design practice is important as it implicitly determines consumers' ability to create a meaningful life. The overall purpose of this thesis is to enhance the understanding of Universal design and explore this concept from a consumer perspective. Universal design opens up for a more extended view of consumers as it implies that all designed artifacts should be usable and accessible for as many people as possible. A cultural perspective of consumer research frames the thesis, which also includes design theory to study the concept of Universal design. In order to obtain a more diversifi ed and comprehensive understanding of Universal design, a qualitative research approach is used and two empirical studies performed. The fi rst study describes design experts' experience of Universal design and the second study describe consumers' experience of design from a Universal design perspective. As Universal design is argued to be marketable among its advocates, this issue has also been subject to attention. The results of these studies will provide insight for consumer researchers as well as marketing and design practitioners.

Lena Hansson is a researcher at Center for Consumer Science (CFK) and is also affiliated with the Department of Business Administration at School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg.

The book costs sek 159 including VAT and shipping within the Nordic countries. To order the book, please contact lena.hansson@cfk.gu.se



Book cover Capturing the elusiva simplifier 

Capturing the elusive simplifier
Pernilla Jonsson, 2006

Multi-dimensional consumers, fragmented markets and paradoxical consumption patterns - during the latest years it seems like consumers can give marketers headaches. As post-modernity has swept across contemporary society the need for theory aiding understandings of the social organization of consumers in the market place has increased. The theoretical perspective of this thesis emanates from a cultural perspective on consumer research, where lifestyle theory which may aid such understanding has emerged. The purpose of this thesis is to explore and describe how consumers create, maintain and communicate a lifestyle using consumption practices which refl ect a voluntarily restricted consumption i.e. simplicity. As this thesis has a cultural perspective on consumer research, its methodology is inspired from ethnography and has a qualitative and interpretative approach. Two empirical studies have been conducted, which both emanates from consumer practices refl ecting voluntarily restricted consumption, i.e. simplicity. The first of these studies uses a car sharing organization as a basis for material gathering, and the second uses an eco-village to gather material. Using tools from lifestyle theory based on the cultural perspective on consumer research, this thesis capture the elusive simplifi er as adhering to a middleclass lifestyle emerging in between symbolic boundaries (Holt 1997) characterized by the emotional and/or ideological commitment (Maffesoli 1996, Cova & Cova 2002) to the green of its adherents.

Capturing the elusive simplifier is part of the four year interdisciplinary research project Commercial cultures, funded by the The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.

The book costs sek 159 including VAT and shipping within the Nordic countries. To order the book, please contact lena.hansson@cfk.gu.se 


Book cover Elusive Consumption 

Elusive Consumption
Karin M. Ekström and Helene Brembeck, 2004

In the context of rising consumerism and globalization, books on consumption are numerous. These tend to be firmly rooted in particular disciplines, however sociology, anthropology, business or cultural studies and as a result often present a blinkered view.

Charged with the mission of unravelling what consumption means and how it operates, the worlds leading experts were flown to a secluded location in Sweden to 'battle it out'. This pioneering book represents the outcome. Ranging from the 'little black dress' to on-line communities, Elusive Consumption challenges our very understanding of consumerism. How successful is the advertising world in manipulating our buying patterns? Does the global marketplace promote cultural homogeneity or heterogeneity? Is the West really more of a 'consumerist civilization' than other countries? Does the advertising of certain products influence a voters choice of political party? How are products associated and marketed to different genders? These controversial topics and many more are discussed.

Covering virtually every aspect of the word 'consumerism', Elusive Consumption provides a state-of-the-art view of the highly commercialized society we inhabit today. Some might have it that consumers are unwitting pawns, completely lacking in agency. Others might argue that consumer choices are empowering and subtly shape production. Richard Wilk, Colin Campbell, John F. Sherry, Richard Elliott, Russell Belk, and Daniel Miller who offers the most persuasive argument in this battle royal?

Karin M. Ekström, Associate Professor in business administration, Director and Research Leader at the Centre for Consumer Science and Helene Brembeck, Associate Professor in ethnology and Research Leader at the Centre for Consumer Science.

To order the book please contact Berg Publishers


 Book cover Consumers and marketing

Consumers and marketing 1963-1993, a retrospect
Bo Wickström, 2003

This book presents research conducted by professor emeritus Bo Wickström during 1963-1993 and illustrates the development of consumer behaviour research in the marketing discipline. An awareness of how research has developed over time will help us understand the situation of today and reflect upon the development of future research. The book includes a collection of articles dealing with a variety of topics such as purchasing and decision making processes, ethical control, social marketing, shopping behaviour, special promotions, and consumer satisfaction.
Bo Wickström is one of the pioneers in consumer behavior research in Sweden and has made an important contribution to Swedish consumer behaviour research, the understanding of marketing of consumer goods and social marketing. Bo Wickström was Professor in marketing from 1968 to 1993 at the School of Economics and Commercial Law at University of Gothenburg.

The book costs sek 125 including VAT and shipping within the Nordic countries. To order the book, please contact cfk@cfk.gu.se


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