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James Cronin supervises 3 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor James Cronin

Professor in Marketing and Consumer Culture Studies

James Cronin

Charles Carter Building



Tel: +44 1524 510663

PhD supervision

I am willing to supervise PhD students in the broad areas of interpretive consumer research, the sociology of consumption, and critical marketing studies.

Research Interests

I am a Professor in Consumer Culture Studies with the Department of Marketing at Lancaster University Management School and Director of the LUMS Centre for Consumption Insights. My principal research focuses on the social and cultural aspects of consumer behaviour including collective and symbolic forms of consumption, marketplace ideologies, consumer escapism, and the cultural politics of marketing. I am also interested in consumer health & wellbeing, food cultures, and the parasocial relationships that consumers forge with celebrities and celebrity brands. Much of my current research activities focus on how social structures, ideologies, and interactions between people shape and ground their consumption experiences. In order to explore these areas, I have used a variety of qualitative research methods and explanatory concepts.

My work has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals including Sociology of Health & Illness, European Journal of Marketing, Marketing Theory, Journal of Marketing ManagementConsumption, Markets & Culture, and Journal of Business Research. I recently co-edited a Special Issue for the Journal of Marketing Management entitled 'De-romanticising the market: advances in Consumer Culture Theory' (2022, Vol. 38 Iss 1-2).

Presently, I am involved as a co-investigator on the UKRI NERC-funded 'Plastic Packaging in People's Lives' (PPiPL) interdisciplinary project. The PPiPL project seeks to produce a critical, nuanced, and comprehensive overview of the ideological, socio-cultural, historical, and industrial conditions, circular supply chain logistics, and post-consumer pathways that contribute to the perceived legitimacy of plastic packaging materials in the UK. I draw from philosophy and cultural theory to approach plastic as a "passengerial" marketplace icon that furtively accompanies consumers on their various experiential journeys. 

I regularly present my work at the Interpretive Consumer Research (ICR) Workshops and Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) conferences and won the Best Paper Award at the 2016 CCT conference in Lille, France.

Research Grants

1. 'Plastic Packaging in Peoples’ Lives (PPiPL): Understanding attitudes and behaviour around plastic food packaging' (Nov 2020-Oct 2023). Awarded by Natural Environment Research Council, UKRI. Amount awarded:  £760,257

Awarded to: Professor Maria Piacentini (Co PI), Dr Alison Stowell (Co PI), Professor James Cronin (CI), Dr Alex Skandalis (CI), Professor Linda Hendry (CI), Dr John Hardy (CI) 

2. Public experiences of service change in primary care: Focusing on the spaces and places of service delivery (Oct 2022- Oct 2025). Competitive PhD CASE Studentship awarded by NWSSDTP Economic and Social Research Council, UKRI.

Awarded to: co-supervisors Professor Maria Piacentini & Professor James Cronin

Additional Information


Recent Media Publications

Cronin, J. (2018), “A Quiet Place and Far Cry 5: popular media on the dangers of ‘speaking out’”, The Conversation, 12th April.

Cronin, J. (2017), "Back in time for Christmas dinner: the modern desire for a bygone age", The Conversation, 22nd December.

Cronin, J. (2017), “The shopping experience is out of date”, The Grocer, 23rd February.

Cronin, J. (2016), “Why novelty dining experiences are just another way of getting high”, The Conversation, 27th June.

Cronin, J. (2016), “How sauerkraut is leading a food revolution”, The Conversation, 15th June.

Cronin, J. (2016), “Nutripocalypse: The Nutrition Labelling Overload”, Huffington Post, 11th May.

Cronin, J. (2016), “Predicting a Sugar Tax Blowback”, Huffington Post, 19th April.


Provided expert commentary to the media

Current Teaching

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. I have expertise in research-led teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, specialising in consumer behaviour, brand management, brand strategy, and issues pertaining to consumer culture. My teaching takes a critical and cultural approach to the brand-related activities of organisations and seeks to encourage a more mindful, socially-aware understanding of the role of brands in contemporary consumer culture. 

I was awarded the Management School Teaching Prize at the 2018 Dean’s Awards and was 'Highly Commended' for my teaching at the University-wide 2022 Staff Awards.

PhD Supervisions Completed

Dr Scott Jones (completed PhD part-time in 2021), Lecturer at Birmingham University

Dr Quynh Hoang (completed PhD full-time in 2022), Lecturer at Leicester University

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