This book demonstrates that marketing scholarship has much to contribute to our understanding of consumer vulnerability and potential solutions. It brings to the fore ways in which so‐called vulnerable consumers navigate various marketplace and service interactions and develop specific consumer skills in order to empower themselves in such exchanges. It does so by exploring how consumer vulnerability is experienced across a range of different contexts such as poverty and disability, and the potential impact of vulnerability from childhood to old age. Other chapters extend focus from the consumer to the organisational perspective or consider more macro issues such as socio-spatial disadvantages. The fundamental aim of many of the contributors is to produce work that can benefit individual and societal well-being. They draw on various methodological approaches that generate both marketing management and policy-focused implications. A series of commentaries are also included to stimulate critical reflection and new insights into consumer vulnerability.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Marketing Management.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Consumer vulnerability 1. Children as vulnerable consumers: a first conceptualisation 2. Exploring spatial vulnerability: inequality and agency formulations in social space 3. Neither passive nor powerless: reframing economic vulnerability via resilient pathways 4. Exploring the impact of packaging interactions on quality of life among older consumers 5. Understanding the vulnerability of blind consumers: adaptation in the marketplace, personal traits and coping strategies 6. Unpacking the interplay between organisational factors and the economic environment in the creation of consumer vulnerability 7. Poetic inquiry, consumer vulnerability: realities of quadriplegia Commentaries 8. Poverty as we never knew it: THE source of vulnerability for most of humankind 9. A conversational approach to consumer vulnerability: performativity, representations, and storytelling 10. Vulnerable consumers in the ‘fourth age’: theoretical reflections upon the case of Sandra Bem
Susan Dunnett is Senior Lecturer at University of Edinburgh Business School, UK. Her research focuses on consumer culture, health and well-being and consumer vulnerability, with a particular focus on patient-led cancer support groups and the patient-as-consumer.
Kathy Hamilton is a Reader in Marketing at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. She is interested in interdisciplinary research and her work focuses on consumer vulnerability and poverty, and the role of community in contemporary culture.
Maria Piacentini is Professor of Consumer Research, and Director of the Centre for Consumption Insights at Lancaster University, UK. Her research focuses on consumer vulnerability, and she is concerned with the strategies employed by consumers in difficult consumption contexts and situations.