23rd April 2014

Marketing Theory Special Issue on Market Systems

Guest Editors: Markus Giesler & Eileen Fischer
Deadline for full paper submission: April 15, 2015

In recent attempts to expand the understanding of marketing and consumption, researchers have moved beyond traditional consumer-centric analytical modes and have instead begun to draw on a number of systems-level sociological, anthropological, institutional, and historical approaches. This so-called market systems approach (Giesler 2003) has several theoretical benefits. It can inform multiple critical marketing debates by raising “awareness of the critical, ethical, social and methodological issues facing contemporary marketing” (Saren et al. 2007).  It can offer new avenues for investigating what Askegaard and Linnet (2011) have recently described as “the context of context” in which marketing operates by foregrounding the “patterns of performed relationships between objects, individuals, and institutions that provide meanings to material practice and order economic life” (Giesler 2012). And finally, it can help resolve a number of issues on the rise and of interest to consumer culture theorists by developing “an important direction […] not captured in [Arnould and Thompson’s (2007)] fourfold theoretics” (Arnould 2011).


This special issue seeks to add to and expand the growing body of research on market systems (e.g., Giesler 2003, 2006, 2008, 2012; Kjeldgaard and Askegaard 2006; Venkatesh and Peñaloza 2006; Thompson and Coskuner-Balli 2007; Humphreys 2010 a and b; Sandikci and Ger 2010; Karababa and Ger 2011; Press and Arnould 2011; Scaraboto and Fischer 2013; Bjerrisgaard and Kjeldgaard 2012; Siebert and Thyroff 2013). Specifically, we invite theoretical and empirical analyses on the systems level that focus on key topics in marketing and consumption in ways that extend, complement, and critique existing consumer-centric investigations. Possible research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • brands,
  • value co-creation,
  • technology consumption,
  • gift giving,
  • consumption history,
  • emotions,
  • space,
  • political economy of consumption,
  • consumer acculturation.


All submissions will be reviewed in accordance with the process outlined in the Manuscript Submission Guidelines on the Marketing Theory Homepage. The journal home page and author guidelines may be accessed at: http://intl-mtq.sagepub.com. The contribution of the paper should be clearly stated in the abstract and should be in accordance with the special issue theme. To give authors enough time to produce their high-quality theoretical and empirical contributions, the issue is slated for publication in 2017. Submissions and any questions should be sent directly to the co-editors of the special issue.


Arnould, Eric J. (2011), “Consumer Culture Theory Group, July 28” https://www.facebook.com/groups/213134458706536/

____________ and Craig J. Thompson (2007), “Consumer Culture Theory (and We Really Mean Theoretics): Dilemmas and Opportunities Posed by an Academic Branding Strategy,” In Consumer Culture Theory, Vol. 11 of Research in Consumer Behavior, eds. Russell Belk and John F. Sherry, Jr., Oxford, UK: Elsevier, 3-22.

Askegaard, Søren and Jeppe Trolle Linnet  (2011), “Towards an Epistemology of Consumer Culture Theory: Phenomenology and the Context of Context,” Marketing Theory, 11 (4), 381-404.

Bjerrisgaard, S.M. and Kjeldgaard, D. (2012), “How Market Research Shapes Market Spatiality: A Global Governmentality Perspective,” Journal of Macromarketing.

Giesler, Markus (2003), “Social Systems in Marketing”, in European Advances in Consumer Research, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 6, 249-256.

____________ (2006), “Consumer Gift Systems,” Journal of Consumer Research, 33 (September), 283-290.

____________ (2008), “Conflict and Compromise: Drama in Marketplace Evolution,” Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (April), 739-753.

____________ (2012), “How Doppelgänger Brand Images Influence the Market Creation Process: Longitudinal Insights from the Rise of Botox Cosmetic, Journal of Marketing, 76 (November), 55-68.

Humphreys, Ashlee (2010a), “Megamarketing: The Creation of Markets as a Social Process,” Journal of Marketing, 74 (March), 1–19.

____________ (2010b), “Semiotic Structure and the Legitimation of Consumption Practices: The Case of Casino Gambling,” Journal of Consumer Research, 37 (October), 490–510.

Karababa, Eminegül and Güliz Ger (2011), “Early Modern Ottoman Coffeehouse Culture and the Formation of the Consumer Subject,” Journal of Consumer Research, 37, 5, 737–760.

Kjeldgaard, Dannie and Søren Askegaard (2006), “The Glocalization of Youth Culture: The Global Youth Segment as Structures of Common Difference,” Journal of Consumer Research, 33 (September), 231-247.

Press, Melea and Eric J. Arnould (2011), “Legitimating community supported agriculture through American pastoralist ideology,” Journal of Consumer Culture, 11, 2, 168–194.

Sandikci, Özlem and Güliz Ger (2010), “Veiling in Style: How Does a Stigmatized Practice Become Fashionable?” Journal of Consumer Research, 37 (June), 15-36.

Saren, Michael, Pauline Maclaran, Christina Goulding, Richard Elliott, Avi Shankar, and Miriam Catterall (2007), Critical Marketing: Defining the Field, Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Scaraboto, Daiane and Eileen Fischer (2013), “Frustrated Fatshionistas: An Institutional Theory Perspective on Consumer Quests for Greater Choice in Mainstream Markets,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 39, No. 6 (April 2013), pp. 1234-1257.

Siebert, Anton and Anastasia Thyroff (2013), “Market System Dynamics: The value of, and the open questions associated with, studying markets in consumer culture theory,” Proceedings of the 2012 Association for Consumer Research Conference (Vancouver, BC, October 4-7).

Thompson, Craig J. and Gokcen Coskuner-Balli (2007), “Countervailing Market Responses to Corporate Co-optation and the Ideological Recruitment of Consumption Communities,” Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (August), 135–151.

Venkatesh, Alladi and Lisa Peñaloza, (2006), “From Marketing to Markets: A Call for Paradigm Shift,” in Does Marketing Need Reform? Fresh Perspectives on the Future, eds. Jagdish N. Sheth and Rajendra S. Sisodia, Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 134-150.