Anthropology of Markets & Consumption Conference

March 7-9, 2013
Irvine, CA



Recent Developments in our related fields indicate the growing use of anthropological perspectives for analyzing various marketing and consumption related issues in both global and local settings. The infusion of anthropology can be found in the works of academics as well as researcher practitioners in the industry. In particular, it is common to see the use of ethnographic methods (sometimes modified) in observing and understanding micro market/consumer practices and in the study of global consumer cultures. In the industry sector, such methods are employed in the areas of product design, branding and other service related activities. Major companies both in the profit and non-profit sectors have created ethnographic teams to support their R&D functions.  Globally, researchers are studying emerging markets and various communities of practice.  New theories of market behaviors and consumption strategies and rituals are being proposed as a result of ethnographic field studies.  Issues of sustainability and environmental concerns are certainly a major preoccupation of current generation.  Indeed, we are now living in challenging/interesting times.

In addition to the field of anthropology, we recognize a similar growing interest among members of sister disciplines, especially Sociology, who have an ongoing interest in the study of markets and consumption practices. There is also a growing interest in the fields of humanities, arts, and aesthetics.


Conference Objective


The major objective of this mini-conference is to assemble scholars and researcher practitioners from diverse disciplines who are involved in studying markets and consumption practices and employ anthropological and related theories and methods in understanding market phenomena. We expect this will provide a platform for a fruitful dialogue between social/cultural anthropologists, market/consumption specialists, social scientists and humanists both within the academia and industry. Our goal is to bring together about 60 attendees, some as presenters, some as discussants, and others as active participants/observers for a two-day event in Southern California. Thus an important goal of the conference is that collectively the conference papers should appeal to both academics and practicing professionals.

Program Contact