Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Marketing

Advisor

Jeff Murray

Committee Member

Molly Rapert

Second Committee Member

Daniel Villanova

Third Committee Member

Anastasia Thyroff

Keywords

consumer culture, consumption, cultural marketing strategy, hygge, marketing, social acceleration, temporality

Abstract

Consumer culture is fast. Goods, services, people, ideas, and values – the material and nonmaterial aspects of culture – are moving more quickly throughout the marketing system than ever before. Such acceleration effects diverse stakeholders: people, public, and planet. This dissertation explores the phenomenon of ‘social acceleration’, and specifically, the ‘acceleration of the pace of life’ which examines the feeling that time is going faster in modern societies as a result of “the increase of action episodes per unit of time” (Rosa 2013, 80). This project develops an understanding of how meanings in marketing are socially constructed in relation to this phenomenon, focusing on the following research question: "How do consumers experience and personalize the cultural meanings of social acceleration in their everyday life?” This question requires an examination of the phenomenon from both a macro (cultural meaning) and micro (individual experience and personalization) perspective in order to create meso-level theoretical and market insights. Essay 1, “The Intermingling of Meanings in Marketing: Semiology and Phenomenology in Consumer Culture Theory”, provides a theoretical framework explaining how macro, cultural meanings and micro, individual meanings combine in order to discover how meanings in consumer culture come to constitute a sense of “normalcy” in society. Essay 2, “How Fast Became Normal: Temporal Rhetoric in Consumer Culture”, examines the macro cultural and ideological meanings associated with time and social acceleration in the context of the United States market environment. Essay 3, “Consumer Deceleration Through Market-Mediated Cultural Reflection”, serves as an exploration of micro, individualized consumer meanings created as a response to the phenomenon of social acceleration in the context of the marketization of Danish hygge in the United States. This dissertation expands both marketing literature and theories. The findings will improve marketers’ understanding of social acceleration in both the marketplace and in the everyday life of consumers so that the meanings surrounding this phenomenon may be better managed.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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