Professor Christina Goulding

Professor Christina Goulding

Department of Marketing
Professor of Marketing

Contact details

Room 151, University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Christina Goulding is Professor of Marketing at Birmingham Business School. 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. She is particularly interested in issues of exclusion and marginalization as well as strategies of resistance and tactics for developing resilience. She has published her research in a number of leading journals including Journal of Consumer Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Psychology and Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, and Consumption, Markets and Culture.

Her second area of interest is the development and application of qualitative research methodologies with a particular focus on Grounded Theory. She is the author of a book on grounded Theory published by SAGE and has published numerous articles in respected journals on the subject. She has been an invited speaker at a number of universities and has also run workshops for BAM and for cross disciplinary audiences . She is also interested in the development of arts based methodologies and is working with colleagues from Keele University and The New Vic Theatre on methodologies for supporting disadvantaged groups and survivors of natural disasters.

She is currently part of an ESRC funded team looking at the issue of marketplace exclusion. This seminar based project has attracted an international  group of scholars both as presenters and audience participants.

Christina is the Associate editor for qualitative research for the European Journal of Marketing and serves on the advisory board of Consumption, Markets and Culture. She is also on the editorial board of Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Theory and the Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

She is interested in supervising qualitative PhDs in the following areas:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Place, space and consumption
  • Non conformist or transgressive consumption
  • The arts meets technology
  • Consumer identity projects
  • Consumption and loss
  • The dark side of consumption
  • Consumption and resilience 


PhD - Consumer Behaviour

BA (Hons) Social Science (Psychology and Sociology)


2015 – Present: Professor of Marketing Birmingham University

2012 – 2014: Professor of Marketing, Keele University

2010 – 2011: Professor of Marketing: Coventry University

2002 – 2010: Professor of Consumer Research, Wolverhampton University

2000 - 2002: Reader in Marketing, Wolverhampton University (WBS)

1998 - 2000: Principal lecturer  &  Divisional Research Leader, Wolverhampton Business School (WBS)

1992 - 1998: Senior lecturer, Wolverhampton Business School (WBS)

1991 - 1992: Lecturer, Wolverhampton Business School (WBS)


  • Contemporary Issues in Marketing (UG and PG)
  • Branding
  • Consumer Behaviour

Postgraduate supervision

  • Six successful PhD supervisions
  • Numerous Masters dissertation supervision


Christina's research is largely in two distinct areas. The first comes under the umbrella of what Russell Belk terms the ‘new’ consumer behaviour. It is part of an emerging critical stream of consumer behaviour within marketing which focuses on the nature of consumer society and the meanings that consumers draw from their various experiences.

Much of her research has been concerned with developing an understanding of the consumption/identity link. Earlier work focused on history, nostalgia and contemporary representations of the past and how this influences consumer perceptions of self, time and space. This also raised questions about authenticity, the commodification process and the service encounter in museums. A more recent development has been to expand the notion of cultural consumption, by examining contemporary sub-cultural phenomenon such as dance culture and collective identity construction as linked to neo-tribalism and symbolic consumption. This has involved an eclectic interdisciplinary approach to theory building which is in line with current interpretivist perspectives within marketing and consumer behavior. Current research is focused on parasocial communities, identity and consumption with an emphasis on body image, strategies for resisting the market place and non-conformist consumption. She is also one of the six founding members of the 'Critical Marketing Group' and co-editor of 'Critical Marketing: Defining the Field' which was the result of an ESRC funded seminar series.

Her second area of interest is that of the application and development of qualitative research methodologies and in particular grounded theory. She has been an invited speaker on the subject at several universities as well as The British Academy of Management. She has published a book on the subject in addition to numerous academic papers.

Other activities

Research Grants

  • ESRC seminar series 'Resistance and the Market' - Awarded August 2013 (£27,000) with Prof Parsons (Liverpool University PI), Prof Kelemen (Keele University), Prof Saren (Leicester University), Prof Fitchett (Leicester University) and Prof Harris (Coventry University).

ESRC – Seminars series

  • 'Critical Marketing': From 2005-2006 (£14,500) with Professor P. MacLaren (PI), De Montfort University, Professor C. Goulding, Wolverhampton Business School, Professor M. Saren, Leicester University, Professor R. Elliott, Warwick University, Dr. A. Shankar, Exeter University and Dr. M. Catterall,   Queens University Belfast.

Academic Review Experience

  • Member of editorial review board - European Journal of Marketing
  • Member of editorial review board – Journal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review
  • Member of editorial review board – Marketing Theory
  • Member of editorial review board – Journal of Place Management
  • Member of editorial review board - Consumption, Markets and Culture
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Journal of Marketing (grounded theory)
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Journal of Consumer Research
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Journal of Marketing Management
  • Reviewer for Association for Consumer Research Conference
  • Reviewer for Academy of Marketing Conference
  • Reviewer for European Association for Consumer Research Conference
  • Reviewer for Association for Consumer Research: Gender and Consumption Conference
  • Reviewer for Consumer Culture Theory Conference
  • Reviewer for EMAC

Other esteem indicators

  • Member of Doctoral Colloquium Committee and session Chair - Academy of Marketing, Limerick, 2015
  • Member of Organising Committee, NARTI Conference, Keele, June 2014
  • Invited to talk at the ESRC seminar Arts Marketing, Durham September 2013
  • Chair of Doctoral Sessions – Academy of Marketing Conference, 2012, Southampton
  • Keynote Speaker at Doctoral Colloquium and Chair of three sessions, Academy of Marketing Conference, 2011, Liverpool
  • Member of Programme Committee for Association of Consumer Research Conference, 2010, USA
  • Member of Programme Committee for European Association of Consumer Research Conference, 2010, Royal Holloway
  • Member of Organising Committee, Academy of Marketing, Coventry University, July 2010
  • Internal Chair, Research Methodology Track, Academy of Marketing, 2010, Coventry University, July 2010
  • Invited to talk on ‘The Anti-hero in Contemporary Consumption: Myths Metaphors and Discourses of Identity, Lancaster University, March 2011
  • Invited speaker at 5th Annual Conference on Sociology and Consumption, ‘ Contemporary Gothics: A Dark Subculture or a Culture of Consumption’ Chester University, March 2010
  • Invited to hold a workshop on Grounded Theory for the British Academy of Management – held March 2009, London
  • Invited to present on Grounded Theory to British Academy of Management Special interest Group on Qualitative Research in Management – held March 2009, University of Central Lancashire
  • Creative Methodologies in Heritage and Arts Marketing: The Case of Grounded Theory, Invited Speaker at ESRC Arts and Heritage Seminar, December 2006,  Bradford University
  • ‘Grounded Theory in Practice’ Presented at Manchester Metropolitan University  14/05/003
  • ‘Grounded Theory – Glaser or Strauss?’ Presented at Queens University Belfast, 10/12/2002
  • ‘Grounded Theory: Love Hate Relationship!’ Presented at Cardiff University, 21/11/2001
  • ‘The Process of Grounded Theory; Problems and Pitfalls.’ Presented at, Nottingham Trent University, 04/10/00
  • Grounded Theory: Reflections on the Process of Application, Analysis and Interpretation.’ Presented at the SAID Management Centre, Oxford University, 23/02/1998


Recent publications


Goulding, C 2024, 'Mellostalgia: looking forward to looking back', Consumption, Markets and Culture.

Goulding, C & Pressey, A 2023, 'A palimpsestic analysis of atmospheres at dark tourism', Annals of Tourism Research: a social sciences journal, vol. 101, 103577.

Goulding, C 2023, 'Atmosphere” - the what? The where? And the how?: Launching the annals of tourism research curated collection on atmosphere 2023', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 101, 103591, pp. 1-19.

Kapoor, V, Belk, RW & Goulding, C 2022, 'Ritual Revision During a Crisis: The Case of Indian Religious Rituals During the COVID-19 Pandemic', Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 277-297.

Goulding, C, Kelemen, M & Kiyomiya, T 2018, 'Community based response to the Japanese tsunami: a bottom-up approach', European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 268, no. 3, pp. 887-903.

Goulding, C & Debraix, M 2018, 'Consuming material authenticity in the age of digital reproduction', European Journal of Marketing.

Tran, MK, Goulding, C & Shiu, E 2018, 'The orchestra of ideas: using music to enhance the 'fuzzy front end' phase of product innovation', Journal of Business Research, vol. 85, pp. 504-513.

Goulding, C, Saren, M & Pressey, A 2018, '‘Presence’ and ‘absence’ in themed heritage', Annals of Tourism Research: a social sciences journal, vol. 71, pp. 25-38.

Goulding, C 2017, 'Navigating the complexities of grounded theory research in advertising', Journal of Advertising, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 61-70.

Mwiti, F & Goulding, C 2017, 'Strategies for community improvement to tackle poverty and gender issues: An ethnography of community based organizations (‘Chamas’) and women's interventions in the Nairobi slums', European Journal of Operational Research.

Narvanen, E & Goulding, C 2016, 'Sociocultural brand revitalization: the role of consumer collectives in bringing brands back to life', European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50, no. 7/8, pp. 1521-1546.

Goulding, C & Saren, M 2016, 'Transformation, transcendence and temporility in theatrical consumption', Journal of Business Research.

Goulding, C & Chaney, D 2015, 'Dress, transformation and conformity in the heavy rock subculture', Journal of Business Research.


Goulding, C 2017, Pierre Bourdieu: Luminary or Elitist? Capital and the Project of Consumption. in S Askegaard & B Heilbrunn (eds), Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory. Routledge.

View all publications in research portal