Deborah Heisley

Deborah Heisley


SB2 324  


PhD, Northwestern University
BS, University of Arizona
BA, University of Arizona

Research Interest

Consumer Behavior from a consumer culture theory perspective

Meaning structures created by culture, the symbolic meaning of goods, and the consumption experience

Context of culture, community, gender, status groups, relationships, and the family

Deborah Heisley earned her PhD at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She is a Professor of Marketing in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at California State University Northridge. Professor Heisley’s research specialty is consumer behavior from a consumer culture theory perspective. She studies meaning structures created by cultures, the symbolic meaning of goods, and the consumption experience. She examines these meanings and experiences in the contexts of culture, community, gender, status groups, relationships, and the family. She typically, but not exclusively, uses qualitative methodologies. She is an expert in in-depth interviewing, visual research, and analysis of qualitative data. She publishes in and reviews for major journals in her field. Her teaching specialties include marketing, consumer behavior and client-based projects. Professor Heisley serves the community of people with special needs. 

Selected Publications, News & Honors

  • Beruchashvili, Mariam, Risto Moisio, and Deborah D. Heisley (2014). “What Are You Dieting For? The Role of Lay Theories in Dieters' Goal Setting,” Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 13(1), 50-59.
  • Pechmann, Cornelia (Connie), Elizabeth S. Moore, Alan R. Andreasen, Paul M. Connell, Dan Freeman, Meryl P. Gardner, Deborah D. Heisley, R. Craig Lefebvre, Dante M. Pirouz, Robin L. Soster (2011). “Navigating the Central Tensions in Research on At-Risk Consumers: Challenges and Opportunities,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing/American Marketing Association, 30(1), 23-30.
  • Heisley, Deborah D. and Deborah Cours (2007), “Connectedness and Worthiness for the Embedded Self: A Material Culture Perspective,” Consumption, Markets and Culture, 10:4, 425-450. Online publication date: December 01, 2007.
  • Heisley, Deborah D., Mary T. Curren, Deborah Cours, Judith E. Hennessey (2007), “Client-based Projects in Business Education,” Academic Exchange Quarterly, Vol. 11, Issue 3 (Fall), Stuyvesant Fall, NY: Rapid Intellect Group, Inc. 221-228.
  • McGrath, Mary Ann, John F. Sherry, Jr. and Deborah D. Heisley (1993), “An Ethnographic Study of an Urban Periodic Marketplace: Lessons from the Midville Farmers’ Market,” Journal of Retailing, Vol. 63, No. 3 (fall), 280-319. (Cited 37 times according to Google Scholar)
  • Heisley, Deborah D. and Sidney J. Levy (1991), "Autodriving: A Photoelicitation Technique," Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (December), 257-272. (Cited 122 times according to Google Scholar)
    • Reprinted in Brands, Consumers, Symbols, and Research: Sidney J. Levy on Marketing,(1999), ed. Dennis W.Rook, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc, 549-574.
  • Heisley, Deborah D., Mary Ann McGrath and John F. Sherry, Jr. (1991), "'To Everything There is A Season:' A Photoessay of a Farmers' Market," Journal of American Culture, 14 (fall), 53-79. (Cited 5 times according to Google Scholar)
    • Reprinted in Highways and Buyways: Naturalistic Research from the Consumer Behavior Odyssey (1991), ed. Russell W. Belk, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 141-166. (Cited 2 times according to Google Scholar)