Consumer Vulnerability: Conditions, contexts and characteristics, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Consumer Vulnerability

Conditions, contexts and characteristics, 1st Edition

Edited by Kathy Hamilton, Susan Dunnett, Maria Piacentini


220 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-08-20
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Consumer vulnerability is of growing importance as a research topic for those exploring wellbeing. This book provides space to critically engage with the conditions, contexts and characteristics of consumer vulnerability, which affect how people experience and respond to the marketplace and vice versa.

Focussing on substantive, ethical, social and methodological issues, this book brings together key researchers in the field and practitioners who work with vulnerability on a daily basis. Organised into 4 sections, it considers consumer vulnerability and key life stages, health and wellbeing, poverty, and exclusion. Methodologically the chapters draw on qualitative research, employing a variety of methods from interview, to the use of poetry, film and other cultural artefacts.

This book will be of interest to marketing and consumer research scholars and students and also to researchers in other disciplines including sociology, public policy and anthropology, and practitioners, policy makers and charitable organisations working with vulnerable groups.


'This indispensable book provides a representation of vulnerability—a potentially transitory and universal human condition—that is concurrently sensitive but not sentimental, comprehensive but multifaceted, conscience awakening but programmatic. It mobilizes us as responsive consumers, managers, policy makers, and citizens.' - Luca M. Visconti, Associate Professor, ESCP Europe, France

'This is a very useful and detailed source for scholars, students and decision makers seeking deep insight into the difficult and challenging area of consumer vulnerability. However, the book is more than that as it represents an important contribution to the developing understanding of how marketing and consumer research can evolve from being part of the cause of the problems highlighted, to being part of the solution.' - Iain Black, Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University, UK

'This important collection brings together a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The range of contributors bring insights from both academic and practitioner perspectives, providing engaging and thought provoking explorations of the conditions and contexts of consumer vulnerability.' - Emma Banister, Senior Lecturer, The University of Manchester, UK

Table of Contents

Part I: Mapping the Domain of Consumer Vulnerability 1. Introduction (Kathy Hamilton, Susan Dunnett and Maria Piacentini) 2.On Consumer Vulnerability: Foundations, phenomena, and future investigations (Stacey Menzel Baker, Monica LaBarge and Courtney Nations Baker) 3. An Inclusive Approach to Consumer Vulnerability: Exploring the contributions of intersectionality (Bige Saatcioglu and Canan Corus) 4.Justice in Injustice, Power in Vulnerability: The dialogic potential of The Uncondemned (Catherine Coleman) 5.Asking for Trouble: Some reflections on researching bereaved consumers (Darach Turley) 6.Consumer Vulnerability is Market Failure (Jonathan Stearn) Part II: Consumer Vulnerability and Key Life Stages 7. Children as Vulnerable Consumers (Agnes Nairn) 8.Consuming Childhood Grief (Stephanie O’Donohoe) 9.An Adolescent-Centric Approach to Consumer Vulnerability: New implications for public policy (Wided Batat) 10.Care Leavers’ Experiences of Assuming Consumer Roles During the Transition to Adulthood (Sally Hibbert, Maria Piacentini and Margaret K. Hogg) 11.Older People: Citizens in a consumer society (Roger Clough) Part III: Consumer Vulnerability, Health and Wellbeing 12. Health Shocks, Identity and Consumer Vulnerability (Marlys J. Mason and Teresa Pavia) 13.Social Exclusion: A perspective on consumers with disabilities (Carol Kaufman-Scarborough) Part IV: Consumer Vulnerability, Poverty and Exclusion 14. Towards an Understanding of Religion-Related Vulnerability in Consumer Society (Aliakbar Jafari) 15.Descent into Financial Difficulty and the Role of Consumer Credit (Andrea Finney) 16.Poverty, Shame and the Vulnerable Consumer (Elaine Chase and Robert Walker) 17.Poverty Proofing the School Day (Sara Bryson and Stephen Crossley)

About the Editors

Kathy Hamilton, is Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Strathclyde UK; Susan Dunnett, is Lecturer in Marketing, University of Edinburgh, UK; Maria Piacentini, is Professor in Consumer Behaviour, Lancaster University, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Critical Marketing

Marketing has been widely criticised as being probably the least self-critical of all the business disciplines and has never really been able to escape the charge that it is socially, ethically and morally barren in certain respects. Marketers may talk about satisfying the customer, about building close relationships with their clientele, about their ethical and corporate social responsibility initiatives, but increasingly these claims are subjected to critical scrutiny and being found wanting. In a social, economic and political environment in which big business and frequently some of the most marketing adept companies’ practices are being questioned, there has emerged a very active community of scholars, practitioners and students interested in Critical Marketing Studies.

Using the types of critical social theory characteristic of Critical Marketing Studies, the aim of this series is to drive the debate on Critical Marketing into the future. It offers scholars the space to articulate their arguments at the level of sophistication required to underscore the contribution of this domain to other scholars, students, practitioners and public-policy groups interested in the influence of marketing in the structuring of the public sphere and society. It aims to be a forum for rigorously theorised, conceptually and empirically rich studies dealing with some element of marketing theory, thought, pedagogy and practice. Studies suitable for this series include theoretical contributions, conceptual elaborations, as well as empirical research that questions current "received wisdom" in marketing and consumer research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Consumer Behavior
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Poverty & Homelessness
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes