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Personal profile

Research areas

My name is Søren Askegaard, and I was the creator and first Head of Research (2001-2008) for the research unit Consumption Culture and Commerce (CCC), comprising today approximately 20 researchers. The unit has from the beginning been an important global hub for research in consumer culture theory and socio-cultural market studies.

My research has been oriented towards the symbolism and practices pertaining to consumer culture. Always considering consumption as socially embedded practices rather than individual decision-making, the goal of my research has been to critically examine the logics of consumer culture. More specifically, the major part of the research has been oriented towards the globalization and localization processes in consumer culture, the nexus of contemporary food culture and the imaginary of health, and the branding process as a social economy of symbols.

Current research activities are mainly going in two directions. One is derived from the research in health and food culture and addresses the role of users/consumers in the encounters in the health care sector, especially in the light of the introduction of new (AI) technologies. The other stream of research draws on my interests in complexity and non-reductionist approaches in social research. It is an investigation of the biosocial anthropos of consumer culture, drawing on my earlier investigation of the human being as a “homo desirans”, as well as complexity research and biosemiotics.

I am heavily involved in my international research network as a board member of the international Consumer Culture Theory Consortium. As from July 1st 2020 I start a three year terms as its president. I have served as associate editor at the field’s leading Journal, Journal of Consumer Research 2008-2014.

In terms of education, I am the designer, founder (in 2012) and program responsible of the BSc in Market & Management Anthropology. Its focus is on altered business and consumption practices locally and globally for sustainable and inclusive development. In 2001, I co-initiated the European Doctoral School of Consumer Culture Theorizing and I am the organizer of the SDU contribution in the school’s educational portfolio, a biennial seminar “Consumption Theory – a Canon of Classics”

Being trained in sociology, communication and business studies, I have always propagated cross-disciplinarity in research and education. Furthermore, also being a firm believer in the relevance of (basic) research for social reflection and policy-making, I am currently involved in as well SDU’s policy of alignment of activities with of UN’s strategic sustainable development goals and involved in an SDU Lighthouse project on circular economy issues. One initiative that is on my current agenda is the formation of an internationally anchored knowledge dissemination unit (ACCESS – Academy of Consumer Culture Equitability and Sustainability Studies) for insight into consumer culture logics, since these are at the roots of some of the most severe dilemmas in the UN goals, notably climate change prevention, alleviation of poverty, biodiversity etc.

External positions

part time professor, Aalto University

1. Aug 201731. Jul 2019

part time professor, University of Lille

1. Jan 2008 → …

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Suffolk University

1. Aug 200731. Dec 2007

part time professor, Lund University

1. Jan 199931. Dec 2002

Fulbright Visiting Professor, University of California, Irvine

1. Jan 19951. Jul 1995

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