The Culture Research Group

The Culture Research Group is based in the Department of Marketing in the Business School at Birmingham University. Members of the group are interested in a range of topics drawing from the broader, diverse field of the arts.

Specific research areas include heritage, issues of culture and authenticity, art and artists as brands, the production and consumption of art, film production and reception, film distribution and exhibition, social responsibility in arts marketing, television, dark tourism, embodiment, visual arts and the market, the production and consumption of place, space and time, myth and the marketplace, festivals, the intersection of arts and technology, how emerging artists use new technology and sub-cultural and non-mainstream consumption. Members of the group are also interested in the philosophy and application of qualitative methodologies such as art installation, cultural animation, dramaturgy and visual methodologies.

Research Outputs

All of the group are research active and have published their work in a number of leading international journals including: Journal of Consumer Research, Annals of Tourism Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, European Journal of Operational Research, Sociology,  Journal of Advertising, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Consumer Culture, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, and Psychology and Marketing, among others. Members are also Associate Editors for Journal of Consumer Research, Annals of Tourism Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing,  Journal of Arts Marketing, and Journal of Marketing Management. In addition several group members serve on the advisory and editorial boards of  various journals including,  Consumption, Markets and Culture, Journal of Arts Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Marketing theory, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Theory, Journal of Customer BehaviourJournal of Place ManagementInternational Marketing Review, and  Journal of Advertising Research.

Some of the prizes won by colleagues in recent years include: ‘Outstanding Reviewer Award’ (Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management), Emerald Literati Awards for Excellence, as well as several conference track prizes at international conferences.

Members of the Culture Group have been hosted as guest speakers at a number of universities (including Keele, Liverpool, Bath, Newcastle, SOAS, Royal Holloway, University of London, and University of Westminster), as well as international institutions (including Kedge Business School, Bordeaux,  University of Limerick, Loyola University, Chicago,  University of Texas, Austin,  Deakin University, Melbourne,  University of Rhode Island, US, and Massey University, New Zealand. 

In addition to academic research, colleagues engage with external partners including: the charity Global Action Plan, Scottish Sculpture, Midlands Arts Centre, and the New Vic Theatre, Stoke on Trent.  A number are also members of the following bodies; The Market Research Society; The British Psychological Society; Association for Consumer Research, and The Higher Education Academy. Several also serve on academic committees including: The British Academy of Marketing Executive Committee, The  British Academy of Marketing Research Committee, Association for Consumer Research Programme Committee, European Association for Consumer Research Programme Committee, International Society of Markets and Development, and the Heritage, Non-profit and Social Marketing Special Interest Group.

Selected research publications

Griffin, C., Szmigin, I., et al. (forthcoming)“We achieve the impossible” Discourses of freedom and escape at music festivals and free parties, Journal of Consumer Culture Szmigin 

Rodner, V. and Kerrigan, F. (forthcoming) From Modernism to Populism –Art as a discursive mirror of the Nation Brand, European Journal of Marketing.

Tran, M., and Goulding, C (in press) The Orchestra of Ideas: Bringing Music to Illuminate the Fuzzy Front End Phase in Product Innovation, Journal of Business Research

Bengry-Howell, A., Griffin, C. and Morey, Y. ( 2017), Socio-Spatial Authenticity at Co-created Music Festivals, Annals of Tourism,  Vol. 63, March, 1-11.

Goulding, C. (2017). Navigating the Complexities of Grounded Theory Research in Advertising, Journal of Advertising, 46, (1), 61-70

Chaney, D and Goulding, C, (2016), Dress, Transformation and Conformity in the Heavy Rock Subculture, Journal of Business Research, 69, 115-165.

Goulding, C. and Saren, M. (2016). Transformation, Transcendence and Temporality in Theatrical Consumption, Journal of Business Research. 69, 2016-222.

Hart, A., Kerrigan, F. and vom Lehn, D.  (2016) Experiencing film: Subjective personal introspection and popular film consumption, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 33(2): 375-391.

Preece, C., Kerrigan, F. and O’Reilly, D. (2016). Framing the work: the composition of value in the visual arts. European Journal of Marketing, 50(7/8), 1377-1398.

Narvanen, E and Goulding, C. (2016). Sociocultural Brand Revitalization: The Role of Consumer Collectives in Bringing Brands Back to Life, European Journal of Marketing. 50 (7/8), 1521-1546.

Preece, C. and Kerrigan, F. (2015) Multi-stakeholder brand narratives: an analysis of the construction of artistic brands, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 31, Iss. 11-12

Szmigin, I. and Canning, L. (2015) Sociological Ambivalence and Funeral Consumption, Sociology. Vol. 49 (4), 748-763 

Members of the Culture Research Group

Group Lead

Professor Christina Goulding

Professor of Marketing and Director of Research, Marketing Department

Telephone: +44 (0)121 415 8438

Christina Goulding is Professor of Marketing and Director of Research for the Marketing group at BBS. Her research interests are two-fold. The first is consumer culture, ranging from cultural production and consumption (i.e. heritage and the arts), to non-mainstream sub-cultural consumption and the second is the development and application of qualitative research methodologies with a particular focus on Grounded Theory.

She is currently part of an ESRC funded team looking at the issue of marketplace exclusion.

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Christina Goulding

Chelsea Harfield 

Teaching Fellow in Marketing


Chelsea's main research interests surround issues related to consumer behaviour in tourism and service settings. She researches the marketing, presentation and interaction with Authenticity and Narrative Transportation at heritage sites. She is also interested in the role of sponsored content on social media, brand perceptions and trust, sponsorship and co-branding in sports partnerships, and consumer engagement.

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Chelsea Bailey

Dr. Finola Kerigan 

Reader in Marketing and Consumption

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 5658

Finola's research is in the field of marketing, specifically marketing within the arts and cultural industries. To date this research has focused on production and consumption issues in film and the visual arts, topics related to social media and branding.

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Dr. Andrew Pressey  

Reader in Marketing and Deputy Head, Marketing Department

Telephone: +44 (0)121 415 8179

Andrew has published (or has forthcoming) in excess of forty journal articles. He has won a number of awards for his research (including Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence, and from the British Academy of Marketing), and acted as guest editor for the Journal of Marketing ManagementJournal of Business and Industrial MarketingIndustrial Marketing Management, and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

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Andrew Pressey

Professor Isabelle Szmigin 

Associate member, Professor of Marketing, Deputy Dean, The Business School

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 7357
Twitter: @IsabelleSzmigin

Isabelle's research interests lie in the area of conceptualising consumer behaviour and understanding the social and policy issues concerned with consumption. Her book Understanding the Consumer examines the complexity and unpredictability of consumers in the marketplace of the twenty first century.

Isabelle regularly appears in the media including Newsnight, BBC Breakfast and BBC News and Radio 4’s Today programme. She has also appeared on the BBC’s Rip Off Britain and Watchdog. She is a columnist for the Conversation

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Isabelle Szmigin

PhD Students

Mai Khan Tran (Mika)
Looking at the intersection between the arts and technology.

Maja Pulic
Examining the political construction and consumption of place and space in post conflict society.

Alexandra Frith
Using affect theory and its relationship to sites of trauma. 

If you require any further information on the group or would like to find out more about our research interests please email the group lead, Professor Christina Goulding (email:

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