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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Gretchen Larsen

Patterson, M. & Larsen, G. (2019). Listening to Consumption: Towards a Sonic Turn in Consumer Research. Marketing Theory 19(2): 105-127.

Author(s) from Durham


In seeking to orient consumer research towards the sonic, this article has three objectives. First, to chart the emergence of the ‘sonic turn’ in the social sciences and, relatedly, to register the echoes of such a turn in consumer research. Second, to draw together the implications of this turn for the ontological, epistemological and methodological foundations of consumer research as a culturally framed social science. Third, to tease out the potential impact of the turn to sound in an intellectual context that remains relatively silent, by addressing the question: what does it mean to listen to consumption? We conclude that the sonic turn does not simply present a set of new objects for enquiry but rather offers a fresh analytical lens that provides a non-linguistic means of appreciating consumption. Such a move opens up the space for new, alternative and disruptive ways of thinking about and doing consumer research.