IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Why Do Brands Cause Trouble? A Dialectical Theory of Consumer Culture and Branding

  • Holt, Douglas B
Registered author(s):

    Brands are today under attack by an emerging countercultural movement. This study builds a dialectical theory of consumer culture and branding that explains the rise of this movement and its potential effects. Results of an interpretive study challenge existing theories of consumer resistance. To develop an alternative model, I first trace the rise of the modern cultural engineering paradigm of branding, premised upon a consumer culture that granted marketers cultural authority. Intrinsic contradictions erased its efficacy. Next I describe the current postmodern consumer culture, which is premised upon the pursuit of personal sovereignty through brands. I detail five postmodern branding techniques that are premised upon the principle that brands are authentic cultural resources. Postmodern branding is now giving rise to new contradictions that have inflamed the antibranding sentiment sweeping Western countries. I detail these contradictions and project that they will give rise to a new post-postmodern branding paradigm premised upon brands as citizen-artists. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (June)
    Pages: 70-90

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:29:y:2002:i:1:p:70-90
    Contact details of provider:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:29:y:2002:i:1:p:70-90. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.