Consumer Culture Theory Conference 2016 - Lille, France - 6th-9th July 2016

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For the third time, the CCT community came to Europe, and after the UK and Finland, it was France's turn to host our annual Conference. As reminded by Benoit Heilbrunn’s keynote speech during the 2015 CCTC in Fayetteville, Arkansas, French theory is a major source of influence in our understanding of culture, society, consumption and marketing. For the CCTC’s eleventh anniversary, we would like Lille to become a cosmopolitan meeting place of ideas enabling cross-fertilization between local and global intellectual traditions.

Our theme for the 2016 CCTC, “Vive la Révolution,” proposed multiple meanings as we wanted to make our conference an inclusive event advancing various ongoing conversations in our field.

First, France is perhaps most known for la Révolution Française. With its motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality, brotherhood), the French Revolution recalls key concepts in our field (among others, emancipation, community, sharing) as well as the experiences of those colleagues who bravely fought during the ‘paradigm wars’ era to legitimize what now is a thriving community of scholars. In this spirit, we invited contributions with big ideas, which might contribute to revolutionize not only our theories and methods, but also the impact of our research.

Second, our theme hinted at the role played by French theory in the cultural understanding of consumption, whose potential – we believe – is still to be unfolded. Of course our goal was not have reference to French theory as a prerequisite for inclusion in the Conference Program. We however intended to encourage dedicated submissions and special sessions building on the work of these theorists, which in our view can contribute in distinctive ways to the recent calls in our field to investigate how the macro-level social, political and cultural context affects consumers’ lived experiences. In the spirit of cross-fertilization of ideas, we also invited contributions highlighting the role of ‘local’ theorists (not necessarily French) that have yet to influence consumer culture theory – perhaps because their work is not available in English or is still little known outside of their home country. We required that these contributions show their differential value – respect to ‘mainstream’ CCT theorizations – to the understanding of culture and consumption.

Finally, France has a distinct consumption and marketing culture, for example in the areas of food, wine, fashion, and luxury, which evolved in a distinctively local manner before affecting, and being affected in turn, by global marketplace dynamics. Inspired by recent debates on regions as bases for theorization, we invited contributions that make sense of how the global and the local are mixed together in specific sites, creating structures of common difference affecting place-specific consumption and marketing phenomena.

CCTC 2016 welcomed scholars from around the world to Lille, France, to come and share their research, creativity, and unique perspectives. We welcomed submissions in the following categories: completed papers, special sessions, posters of work in progress, poetry, interactive workshops, roundtables, works of alternative investigation and expression, and, for the third time, a CCT art gallery.