The concept of enchantment offers a plausible explanation of the lures and thrills of consumer culture. Despite the importance of enchantment for understanding the attractions of and motivations for consumption in consumer culture, there is only sparse research on the ontology of enchantment. This paper examines the theoretical foundation of the concept of enchantment in consumer research to date. We begin by assessing the enchantment/disenchantment discourse through a review of the main theoretical contributions to the area, summarising Weber’s (1905/2002) initial outline of the notion of disenchantment and then move on to consider first Campbell’s (1987) and then Ritzer’s (2010) development and reaction to the Weberian thesis. We then move on to consider the potential application of Baudrillard’s (1993) Order of Simulacra to further understand and perhaps resolve some of the open questions concerning the possibility of enchantment in contemporary consumer culture.
Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 2013, Vol 12, Issue 5, p. 337-344