Research output

Chapter (in Edited Book) ()

Morris B. Holbrook, Subjective Personal Introspection, and the Hunger Games: A Young Researcher’s Introspective Perspective

Wohlfeil M (2015) Morris B. Holbrook, Subjective Personal Introspection, and the Hunger Games: A Young Researcher’s Introspective Perspective. In: Sheth JN, Gould S (ed.). Legends in Consumer Behaviour: Morris B. Holbrook, Volume 10: Qualitative Methods, Part III: Subjective Personal Introspection. Legends in Consumer Behavior, 2, New Delhi: SAGE, pp. 391-395.


The Legends in Consumer Behavior series captures the essence of the most important contributions made in the field of consumer behavior in the past several decades. It reproduces the seminal works of the legends in the field, which are supplemented by interviews of these legends as well as by the opinions of other scholars about their work. The series comprises various sets, each focusing on the multiple ways in which a legend has contributed to the field. This second set in the series, consisting of 15 volumes, is a tribute to Morris B. Holbrook.

Morris B. Holbrook, one of the most prolific contemporary consumer behavior and marketing scholars, is the recently retired W. T. Dillard Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York City. Holbrook received his Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard College (English Literature) in 1965, his MBA from Columbia University in 1967, and his Ph.D. in Marketing from Columbia University in 1975. From 1975 to 2009, he taught courses at the Columbia Business School in areas such as sales management, marketing strategy, research methods, consumer behavior, and commercial communication in the culture of consumption. His research has covered a wide variety of topics in marketing, consumer behavior, and related areas with a special focus on issues concerning communication in general and aesthetics, semiotics, hermeneutics, art, entertainment, music, jazz, motion pictures, nostalgia, animal companions, and stereography in particular.

In Chapter 22 ("Morris B. Holbrook, Subjective Personal Introspection, and the Hunger Games: A Young Researcher's Introspective Perspective"), I comment on how Holbrook's work and, especially, his advocacy for introespective/autoethnographic research has influenced my own research, PhD and recent publications. In doing so, I use Suzanne Collins's "The Hunger Games"-trilogy as an analogy for today's "Publishing Games" in academia to discuss critically the 'difficulties' encountered by young researchers, whose research topics and/or methodologies (such as autography) departs from the common mainstream research and/or who do not have the luxury of being 'connected' to leading figures in the field, in getting their research published in our leading journals. But I also try to give an explanation why some mavericks like Holbrook or me, despite all the difficultues and hardships we are confronted with, still prefer this path, and why our research output may be more meaningful and memorable to a broader audience than much of the mainstream output published in top-tier journals.

Morris B. Holbrook; autoethnography; subjective personal introspection; The Hunger Games; publishing games

EditorSheth JN, Gould S
AuthorsWohlfeil Markus
Title of seriesLegends in Consumer Behavior
Number in series2
Publication date2015
Place of publicationNew Delhi
ISBN 9788132118602
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