510406 - DIGITAL CONSUMER CULTURE - PROF. CALIANDRO ALESSANDRO (Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Digitale - COD)


Coruse Aim & Topics

Consumer culture is not an easy concept to define. A pivotal definition of the term was provided by Arnould and Thompson in their seminal 2005 article ‘Consumer Culture Theory (CCT)’, where they conceptualise consumer culture as an “interconnected system of commercially produced images, texts, objects that groups use – through the construction of overlapping and even conflicting practices, identities, and meanings – to make collective sense of their environments and to orient their members’ experiences and lives”. Fifteen years later, we can safely argue that this complex system of meanings has been deeply re-mediated, re-shaped and re-configured by the likewise complex system of digital devices (such as search engines, algorithms, or reputational metrics) populating the Internet, and especially digital platforms, considered as commercial environments where consumers spend most part of their time. This revolution led to the emerge of digital consumer culture, a brand-new phenomenon that deserves attention and analytical categories on its own. To this purpose, this course aims at providing students with an essential theoretical and methodological toolkit to understand, interpret, and investigate the complex field of digital consumer culture.  

The course will cover, mainly, the following topics: Consumer Culture & Digital Platforms, Algorithmic Consumer Culture, Fake News, Bots & Brand Communication, Brand Communities and Brand Publics, Memetic Marketing and Memetic Brands, Influencers, Ephemeral Media & Consumption, Consumer & Brand Activism, Brand & Consumer Storytelling, Digital Methods, Digital Research Design, Digital Research Techniques, Digital Ethnography