Cadernos Ebrape

Uncertain consumption practices in an uncertain future


Deadline: March 15, 2021


(Articles only in English)


Guest Editors

Russell W. Belk

York University / Schulich School of Business, Toronto - Canada

Luís A. Pessôa
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro / IAG Business School,
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil

Vitor M. Lima
York University / Schulich School of Business, Toronto - Canada




The world has fallen apart right before our eyes. “The pandemic is very likely the largest shock to the global status quo we will experience in our lifetimes” (BELK, 2020). Those New Year's resolutions perhaps no longer make sense as originally imagined. Plans for starting a new career, a new diet, the family trip, having a child, moving out of parents' homes, going under an elective surgery, doing a cosmetic procedure, renewing the old wardrobe, are now paused, changed, or canceled. In other cases, changes in the environment like low interest rates may empower other behaviors like buying a first house. For those lucky enough to still have a job and work from home, they may save both time and money. Within this scenario, more than ever, what, how, and why tomorrow will be as it will be is an open question. As Giddens (1991, 92) states, traumatic events disrupt consumers' beliefs in “the continuity of their self-identity and the constancy of their social and material environments of action.” In this vein, ontological insecurity, that is, the perception of the lack of order and stability, can lead to the overlapping of fear with hope, dysphoria with euphoria, happiness with sadness, tolerance with intolerance (KIRK and RIFKIN, 2020).

Despite previous studies in consumer research (e.g., BAKER and BAKER, 2016; OZANNE, 2019), future scenarios of consumption practices in unprecedented and catastrophic times remain understudied (CAMPBELL, INMAN, KIRMANI et al., 2020). The relevance of such an investigation lies in the fact that humanity may face several revisions of what it means to be alive (LEROY, ROBLES, KILPELA et al., 2020), to be socially responsible (HE and HARRIS, 2020), to love our family (WALSH, 2020), to be an altruist (CHENG, LAM and LEUNG 2020), to touch and be touched (KATILA,GAN and GOODWIN, 2020), and, unquestionably, to be ethical (JEFFREY, 2020). Consumption practices thus may play a relevant role in shaping how people will navigate in the turbulent and seemingly surreal future.

That said, we welcome conceptual and empirical research from marketing scholars, and social scientists broadly speaking, to examine the urgent topic of coping with an uncertain future. To this end, we encourage novel and original contributions to interpretative consumer research (BELK and SOBH, 2019). As a special issue is international in scope. We expect to include critical and innovative studies with the potential to push the boundaries of current knowledge about coping with COVID-19 adversity. We welcome a diversity of contexts, methodologies, and ideas. Thus, in times of uncertainty, we ask:


• What is the role of possessions, material and immaterial, in helping consumers
   to reflect on their future identity projects?
• What is the meaning of conspicuous consumption in a scenario without the
  gaze of others?
• How do consumers socially construct and share narratives, memes, videos,and
  photos in order to cope with uncertainty?
• How have digital influencers been contributing to alleviating or increasing
  consumers' desires?
• In what ways have technologies provided self-coherence in a fragmented
• To what extent has social isolation influenced the experience of physical and
  virtual social interactions?
• How will consumer practices and lifestyles be shaped by a “new social order?”
• How does imagination provide hope for a better tomorrow and vice-versa?
• In what ways can policymakers draft future public consumer policies based on
  this liminal moment?





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BELK, R. W. Life in a Post-Pandemic World. The Journal of ResInt Canada, v. 4, n. 1, p. 20-23, 2020.

BELK, R. W.; SOBH, R. No assemblage required: On pursuing original consumer culture theory. Marketing Theory, v. 19, n. 4, p. 489-507, 2019.

CAMPBELL, M. C. et al. In Times of Trouble: A Framework for Understanding Consumers' Responses to Threats. Journal of Consumer Research, v. 0, ucaa036, 2020. Available at: <>. Accessed on: August 24, 2020.

CHENG, K. K.; LAM, T. H.; LEUNG, C. C. Wearing face masks in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic: altruism and solidarity. The Lancet, v. 2019, n. 20, p. 2019-2020, 2020.

GIDDENS, A. Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991.

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KATILA, J.; GAN, Y.; GOODWIN, M. H. Interaction rituals and ‘social distancin’: New haptic trajectories and touching from a distance in the time of COVID-19. Discourse Studies, v. 22, n. 4, p. 418-440, 2020.

KIRK, C. P.; RIFKIN, L. S. I’ll trade you diamonds for toilet paper: Consumer reacting, coping and adapting behaviors in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Business Research, v. 117, p. 124-131, May 2020.

LEROY, A. S. et al. Dying in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Contextual Considerations and Clinical Recommendations. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, v. 12, p. 98-99, 2020.

OZANNE, L. K. Creating value to mitigate disaster harm: how the sharing economy can support consumers and policy makers. In: BELK, R. W.; ECKHARDT, G. M.; BARDHI, F. (Eds.). Handbook of the Sharing Economy. London: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019. p. 254-265.

WALSH, F. Loss and Resilience in the Time of COVID-19: Meaning Making, Hope, and Transcendence. Family Process, Early View, p. 1-14, 2020.




Cadernos EBAPE.BR is an online journal on Administration published in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by FGV EBAPE (Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration of Getulio Vargas Foundation) and it is an open access journal

Will be accepted submissions only in English. All approved papers will be published in the original language (English). We expect that the accepted papers (after blind review and analysis by the guest editors) will be published in 6 to 8 months from the result of the desk review. Cadernos EBAPE.BR is classified by the CAPES Qualis system as A2.




Author(s) should follow the guidelines for submitting papers to Cadernos EBAPE.BR in:

Papers should be submitted through the link:

You must register as an author, unless you have done it previously.
Note: please indicate in the field “AUTHOR'S COVER LETTER” that your paper is for the special issue: “Uncertain consumption practices in an uncertain future”.

The deadline for paper submissions is March 15, 2021.

For any questions, please contact:

Russell W. Belk
Luís A. Pessôa
Vitor M. Lima




Ph.D. Hélio Arthur Reis Irigaray

Fabiana Braga Leal
Editorial Assistant

Jackelyne de Oliveira da Silva
Editorial Assist




Cadernos EBAPE.BR
Rua Jornalista Orlando Dantas, 30 - Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro - RJ | Brazil
+55 21 3083-2731
ISSN 1679 3951



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