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Rules Theory: Understanding The Social Construction Of Consumer Behaviour

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This paper explores the potential of rules theory to make intelligible the socially constructed reality of consumer behaviour. Rules theory, which is grounded in Systems theory and later Wittgensteinian language philosophy offers a technology for accessing the meaning and action that characterise consumer behaviour. Two forms of rule can be used to interpret consumer behaviour, constitutive rule and regulative rule. The former are socially constructed rules of meaning; the latter are socially constructed rules of action. Rules theory also acknowledges that meaning and action have potential for contextual variation. Rules theory serves as a metatheoretical counterpoint to the positivistic paradigm which dominates the consumer behaviour literature.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 1998

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