Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2022/23 Session

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Module Title LM Contemporary Social Theories and Consumer Research
SchoolBirmingham Business School
Department Birmingham Business School
Module Code 07 37386
Module Lead Prof Christina Goulding
Level Masters Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 1
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-20 hours
Seminar-20 hours
Guided independent study-160 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description The 1980s in particular, saw a dramatic shift in thinking about consumer phenomenon with academics entering the discipline from anthropology, literary criticism, sociology, art history and social psychology. This precipitated a more theoretical, critical approach to consumption, along with a wide variety of methodological approaches to understanding it. Today, there are a number of sub-schools within this interpretivist turn, including post-modern marketing, critical marketing and heretical consumer behaviour. These have lately been subsumed under a broader umbrella called Consumer Culture Theory which brings together the main philosophical and methodological perspectives that distinguish contemporary thinking in consumer research today. This module will explore the evolution of the discipline from a critical perspective. It will further examine the points of similarity and departure amongst contemporary theorists, including issues relating to consumer ethics and responsible marketing. The module will also discuss key theories from the social sciences and the arts that have particular relevance to consumer society and the world we live in today. In addition, it will highlight the various methodologies used for theory building and the need to not only describe contemporary consumer behaviour, but to critically analyse it and consider the wider societal implications.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Evaluate cutting-edge marketing and consumer theories.
  • Apply new theoretical frameworks in marketing and consumption to dynamic market environments in which organisations and consumers operate.
  • Critically interpret advanced research and approaches to data analysis in marketing and consumer research.
  • Evaluate the role of consumer ethics and responsibility in marketing.
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment:

(2500 word equivalent) group visual presentation, e.g. using powerpoint, videos, posters, dramatic role play (30%);

(3000 word) individual report assignment (70%).


Resubmission of failed component:

(1000 words) individual critical analysis of the group work presentation (30%)


(3000 word) individual essay assignment (70%).
Reading List