1st Edition

The Undermining of Beliefs in the Autonomy and Rationality of Consumers

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines modern consumption, focusing on concepts of autonomy and rationality. In recent years, conventional ideas of 'free will' have come under attack in the context of consumer choice and similarly, postmodernists have sabotaged the very notion of consumer rationality. O’Shaughnessy and O'Shaughnessy adopt a moderating perspective, reviewing and critiquing these attacks in order to work towards a more nuanced view of the consumer: neither entirely autonomous nor perfectly rational.

    While the first part of this book concentrates on assailing critiques of 'free-will', the second part takes issue with the postmodernist emphasis on the non-rational. The authors situate these critiques in the context of key academic debate, examining the logic and empirical bases for their claims thus leading to a deeper understanding of 'bounded' rationality and the potential of the adaptive unconscious to affect consumer choice.

    Part 1: The Renewed Interest in the Unconscious and Free Will - A Progress Report for Marketing 1. The Relegation of Free Choice and Free Will 2.The Dominance of the Adaptive Unconscious Part 2: Postmodernism: The Attack on all Aspects of Modernity and Rationality 3.The Claims made by Postmodernists 4. Central Philosophical Assertions of Postmodernism


    John O’Shaughnessy is Emeritus Professor of Business at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York. 

    Nicholas O’Shaughnessy is Professor of Marketing and Communications at Queen Mary, University of London.

    "The unbeatable father-and-son team of John-and-Nicholas O’Shaughnessy has produced another stimulating and provocative book on issues of relevance to consumer behavior, communication, and marketing. In this book, these distinguished scholars draw upon their strong backgrounds in philosophy and the social sciences to integrate ideas from two areas of inquiry – namely, bounded rationality and postmodernism. They make connections of obvious importance and profundity that have thus far remained unexplored in the literature on marketing and consumer research." Morris B. Holbrook, Dillard Professor of Marketing (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, NY)