2nd Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption

Edited By Rosa Llamas, Russell Belk Copyright 2023
    580 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    580 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Since the publication of the ground-breaking first edition, there has been an exponential growth in research and literature about the digital world and its enormous potential benefits and threats. Fully revised and updated, this new edition brings together an expertly curated and authoritative overview of the impact and emerging horizons of digital consumption.

    Divided into sections, it addresses key topics including digital entertainment, self-representation, communication, Big Data, digital spirituality, online surveillance, and algorithmic advertising. It explores developments such as consumer data collection techniques, peer-to-peer payment systems, augmented reality, and AI-enhanced consumer well-being, as well as digital transgression, secrecy, crypto-currencies, NFTs, and cultural concerns such as the spread of conspiracy theories and fake news. From digital influencers, digital nomads, and digital neo-tribalism to robots and cyborgs, it explores existences that blur boundaries between humans and machines, reality and the metaverse, and the emerging "technoculture" – a state of all-encompassing digital being.

    This unique volume is an essential resource for scholars, practitioners, and policy makers, and will continue to provide a new generation of readers with a deep understanding of the universe of digital consumption.

    Part I: What’s digital?

    1. Living in a Digital Society

    Rosa Llamas and Russell Belk

    2. Digital Nomadism as Temporal Privilege

    Aleksandrina Atanasova, Fleura Bardhi, Giana M. Eckhardt, and Laetitia Mimoun

    3. How Digitalization Blurs Boundaries, Makes Things Ungraspable, and Affects Psychological Appropriation

    Bernadette Kamleitner and Michail D. Kokkoris

    4. Transhumanism and the Phenomenology of Cyborg Senses

    Vitor M. Lima

    5. Researching the Black Box: A call for Methodological Diversity, Transdisciplinarity, and Creativity in Research on Smart Digital Consumption

    Jonas Foehr and Claas Christian Germelmann

    Part II: Representing the Self and Others

    6. The Evolution of Online Self-presentation: From Programmable Freeform Websites to Algorithmized Templates that Encourage Commercially Exploitable Content

    Ashok Kumar Kaliyamurthy, Hope Jensen Schau, and Mary C. Gilly

    7. Digital Identity: The Postmodern Consumer Chameleon

    Michael R. Solomon

    8. Digital payment, ‘Venmo me’ Culture, and Sociality

    Jenna Drenten

    9. From Blogs to Platforms: Content Landscape and Affordances

    Ghalia Shamayleh and Zeynep Arsel

    10. Chatbots: From Eliza and Alexa to Therapy-bots and Sexbots

    Russell Belk

    11. Robots: Friend or Foe, Master or Servant?

    Marat Bakpayev

    Part III: Researching the Digital Consumer

    12. Understanding Technoculture

    Robert V. Kozinets

    13. Critical Issues in Artificial Intelligence Algorithms and their Implications for Digital Marketing

    Elanor Colleoni and Daniela Corsaro

    14. Utilizing Digital Reality in Intergenerational Research

    Pragea G. Putra, Karen V. Fernandez, and Michael S.W. Lee

    15. The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Capturing Livestreamed Performances

    Toni Eagar, Natalie Mitchell, Kevin Thomas, and Yingnan Shi

    Part IV: Communicating, Interacting and Socializing

    16. Considering the Impacts of Transgressive Behaviors among Interactive Online Audiences

    Alex Baudet, Marie Agnès Parmentier, and Eileen Fischer

    17. You’ll Never Walk Alone: Socializing and Finding your Tribe in a Digital Age

    Bernard Cova and Laurence Dessart

    18. Capitalist Subjectivity, Tinder, and the Emotionalization of the Web

    Eva Illouz and Dan M. Kotliar

    19. They aren’t secret, they aren’t hiding and some online communities are more dangerous than ever

    Ekant Veer

    20. A ‘Thumbs Up’ and ‘Thumbs Down’ for Thumb Culture: The Paradoxical Nature of Smartphones

    Katie Thompson and Anthony Patterson

    Part V: Using Digital

    21. From techno-utopianism to personal panopticon and beyond: A call for a revised self-tracking research agenda

    Matthias Bode and Dorthe Brogård Kristensen

    22. Transformations in digital virtual consumption

    Janice Denegri-Knott, Rebecca Jenkins, and Mike Molesworth

    23. Consumer Decision Making in Omnichannel environments

    Elfriede Penz and Margaret K. Hogg

    24. Patient Experience Assemblages on Digital Health Platforms

    Handan Vicdan and Nikhilesh Dholakia

    25. Stock investing in the digital age

    Jonathan Schroeder and Detlev Zwick

    26. How do consumers (re-)organize their lives through digital decluttering?

    Johanna Franziska Gollnhofer and Birte Karoline Manke

    Part VI: Playing, Praying, Educating and Entertaining

    27. The Perpetual Traveler – Hypermobility in a Connected World

    Ulrike Gretzel 

    28. Digital Consumer Spirituality

    Jannsen Santana, Katharina C. Husemann, and Giana M. Eckhardt

    29. Education in a digital age: Do we need more innovation in educational innovations?

    Pedro de Bruyckere

    30. Digital Fandom (revisited): exploring the role of the hypermediated fan as trickster

    Clinton Lanier, Jr., C. Scott Rader, and Aubrey R. Fowler III

    31. Online games: consuming experiences and interacting in virtual worlds

    Marlon Dalmoro, João Pedro dos Santos Fleck, and Carlos Alberto Vargas Rossi

    Part VII: Issues of Concern in Society and Culture

    32. The Double Edge of Diversity in a Digital World

    Akon E. Ekpo

    33. Identity Expressions of Agender Individuals in a Digital World

    Morgan Ketola, Schyler Selander, and Ayalla Ruvio

    34. Online Privacy as Space: Concepts, Issues, and Research Avenues for Digital Consumption

    Ian Grant and Kathryn Waite

    35. The Power of Digital Integration: The Normalization of Tracking and Surveillance Technologies

    Guojun (Sawyer) He, Eric Ping Hung Li, and Matt Husain

    36. Online Consumer Activism 2.5: Youth at the Forefront of the Global Climate Crisis

    B. Yasanthi Perera, Pia A. Albinsson, and Sarita Ray Chaudhury

    37. The Digital Transformation of Consumer Movements

    Jay M. Handelman

    38. Models of Viral Propagation in Digital Contexts: How Messages and Ideas -From Internet Memes to Fake News- Created by Consumers, Bots, and Marketers Spread

    Tien Ee Dominic Yeo

    39. "Posting sexy images and still being respected as a woman": perspectives on human and nonhuman influencers

    Magdalena Petersson McIntyre

    40. Consumer Online (Dis)Trust: A Decade Later

    M. Saeid Kermani, Peter R. Darke, and Michael K. Brady

    Afterword: The Internet’s Effects on Consumption: Useful, Harmful, Playful

    John Deighton and Leora Kornfeld


    Rosa Llamas is a lecturer in marketing at several business schools across Europe. She is also a mentor and consultant. Her work is based on qualitative methods, has a global approach, and aims at igniting individual and societal transformations.

    Russell Belk is York University Distinguished Research Professor, Royal Society of Canada Fellow, and Kraft Foods Canada Chair in Marketing at the Schulich School of Business in York University, Canada.

    "Llamas and Belk have brought together an assemblage of cutting-edge academic essays that examine virtually every aspect of the modern digital consumer. Much has changed in the past few years and it’s all here. The volume is a wide-ranging conceptual and topical feast of how the latest advances and future developments in the digital world impact today’s consumer. The menu includes AI-robot-consumer interactions, Tinder, digital fandom, non-human influencers, digital spirituality, the technoculture of Zoom and anti-vaxxers, and so much more. Researchers, teachers, and practitioners alike will come away updated, challenged, and inspired."

    Tom Novak, George Washington University, USA


    "Worldwide, the dominance of the digital economy represents the most significant paradigm shift of the 21st century. This book provides the vital knowledge to help academics, practitioners, pundits, and the public grasp the core concepts, contradictions, and contributions of this commercial sphere. Containing scholarly riches produced by over 60 authors, it traverses the gamut of digital consumption topics – exploring how bits, bytes, and bots shape consumer behavior and consumer culture in the digital arena."

    Cele Otnes, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, USA


    "We are all living in a digital world, but how does that change the people living in it? The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption takes an intellectually critical look into the digital world. With an emphasis on qualitative approaches, this volume contains thoughtful chapters from deep digital thinkers. Taken as a whole, the book ‘steps back’ to view the digital domain in a broad, multidisciplinary way, taking into account the philosophical, sociological, and psychological impact of the digital environment, and considering the broad, societal implications as well. Truly understanding the digital world demands an eclectic viewpoint, and this volume provides a wide-ranging view of the digital forces that are changing our lives."

    Roland T. Rust, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, USA


    "Such is the transformative power of the digital revolution on both consumer behaviour and more broadly consumer culture that hot on the heels of the first edition comes this second edition of The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption. The editors have again assembled a super collection of essays from leading academics in their fields, arranged into seven broad themes, from how to research digital consumers, through to more critical perspectives on how digitalization is transforming consumer practices, societies, and cultures. For students and their teachers who are trying to keep pace with the profound changes of the digital revolution on consumer behaviour this is a very timely and welcome additional resource. Ask your library to stock this book now!"

    Avi Shankar, University of Bath, UK


    "Thought provoking, cutting edge, and comprehensive coverage by global experts! A must read for anyone interested in digital consumption!"

    Jochen Wirtz, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore


    "Llamas and Belk, acknowledged experts on the digital transformation, have assembled an extraordinary group of scholars. There simply is no other handbook that portrays our digital world in such detail. In my view, a must read for any researcher in the social sciences and any business practitioner looking for consumer insight to drive business growth."

    Bernd Schmitt, Columbia Business School, USA


    "As companies from Facebook to Microsoft rebrand and reconstitute to align with the ‘metaverse’, a fulsome foundation in the consumer behaviors constituting not just a life engaged online, but a digital life lived entirely within a digital world, becomes paramount. Enter this handbook and its expert guide to the complexities and conundrums of digital consumption 3.0."

    Susan Fournier, Boston University, USA