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Time and Culture in Consumer Behaviour: Framing the Future
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Time and Culture in Consumer Behaviour: Framing the Future (Hardback)

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The possible future effects of human behaviour are an important part of how we generate meaning about that behaviour. This also applies to consumption. Even purchasing breakfast cereals are informed by utopian and dystopian visions of GM-crops; robot vacuum cleaners by narratives of unemployment or leisure class living; and energy choices by imagined peak oil scenarios or carbon neutral wind farming. Thus, expectations about the future are always with us virtually - as that towards which one orients consumption behaviour.

The last decades have seen a proliferation of complex narratives about consumer choice and the future. This makes it challenging for consumers to interpret the temporal meaning of consumption. The fragmentation of futures and the cultural variability in the representation of time are important for understanding consumption, but have received little attention. Instead, studies have emphasised retrospective over prospective tales, examining the historical formation of ideology and myth or their cultural antecedents.

Framing the Future - Time and Culture in Consumer Behaviour suggests that, rather than being inherently private and subjective, consumers' ability to articulate the future draw on communally constituted resources that are at the same time culturally relative. The argument is made through a comparative analysis of examples drawn from news media narratives about technology. More specifically it problematizes, dimensionalises, and sites the future as a consumption object, materialized in technology both actual and imagined. Written for academics, researchers and students in Marketing, Consumer Behaviour and Phycology and related disciplines, Framing the Future - Time and Culture in Consumer Behaviour offers a new and exciting perspective, adding its own theory and thinking tools to the existing literature.

Thomas Derek Robinson is at Department of Marketing & Management, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark .

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