Call for Papers

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The Journal of Consumer Affairs announces a Special Issue on

"Pandemics and Consumer Well-being"

Submission deadline: October 31, 2020

Special issue editors:
Elizabeth A. Minton, Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business, University of Wyoming, USA
Debasis Pradhan, Xavier School of Management, XLRI-Jamshedpur, India
Arindam Das, Alliance School of Business, Alliance University-Bangalore, India
Himadri R. Chaudhuri, Xavier School of Management, XLRI-Jamshedpur, India

The Journal of Consumer Affairs (JCA) invites papers for a special issue on pandemics and outcomes influencing consumer well-being. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people across the world both in terms of physical existence and livelihood. As consumption is now centered more around ensuring daily survival, extravagant materialism may take a back seat (Kotler 2020). Consumers may also exhibit anti-consumption (Kotler 2020), voluntary simplicity, and brand avoidance behaviors (Kuanr, Pradhan, and Chaudhuri 2020), as well as buying cheaper products and more do-it-yourself options. Services are now likely to be delivered digitally (Eckholm and Rockstrom 2019) and AI-driven “liquid consumption” (Bardhi and Eckhardt 2017) to become the standing norm with consumers further fashioning their coping strategies to deal with digital goliath (Mick and Fournier 1998). Consumers may also turn to various coping mechanisms during this time to manage stress and anxiety, such as religion, food, or exercise. Research needs to investigate these avenues to inform marketers, policy makers, and consumer advocacy groups as to how to encourage consumer well-being.

While much of the literature about consumer well-being  explores such conditions under ‘normal’ situations (e.g., Hill 2002; Martin and Hill 2012; Farrell and Hill 2018; Jagdale, Chaudhuri, and Kadirov 2020), pandemics (particularly COVID-19) offer a fresh look at a new normal. For example, consumers’ perception of scarcity can be influenced by not only the unavailability of products and services but also by paucity of time (Inman, Peter, and Raghubir 1997). Limited resources and supply may also encourage more socially responsible consumption behavior (Webb, Mohr, and Harris 2008) as well as motivate consumers to recycle, reuse, repair, and share. Additionally, the current situation resonates and possibly further inhibits the conditions of poor and marginalized consumers who are already living in the harshest of conditions (Žižek 2020).

Even though academia is replete with research on epidemics and pandemics, not much is known about whether and how such situations influence consumer behavior and well-being (Xu and Peng 2015). Therefore, theoretical-based conceptual and empirical investigations are needed. More specifically, in this call for papers, we encourage research on consumer behavior and its influence on consumer well-being at the intersection of markets, society, governance, and existence. Possible research topics include but are not be limited to:

  • Policy directions and consumer well-being during a pandemic
  • Vulnerability of marginal consumers in the time of a pandemic
  • Mindfulness and resilience for consumer well-being during a pandemic
  • Religion’s influence on consumers’ pandemic coping behaviors
  • Powerlessness of consumers during a pandemic and their access to resources
  • Pandemic-influenced deviant and prosocial consumer behavior
  • Compulsive buying and hoarding during a pandemic
  • Influence of scarcity of products and limited information on consumer well-being
  • Role of digital marketing on consumer well-being during a pandemic
  • Consumer precarity during a pandemic
  • Influence of a pandemic on subsistence marketplaces
  • Eating and exercise changes before, during, and/or after a pandemic
  • Anti-consumption and sustainable consumption during a pandemic
  • Research methods for examining consumer well-being during a pandemic

Researchers in all relevant fields are encouraged to submit their work. Manuscripts may be submitted online through Scholar One Manuscripts at Style guidelines and publishing requirements can be viewed online at Manuscripts should be at max 8,000 words all inclusive. The expected publication date is October 2021. Please contact the special issue editors for further information about the issue or the Editorial office at [email protected] for questions about the submission system.

Elizabeth A. Minton: [email protected]
Debasis Pradhan: [email protected]
Arindam Das: [email protected]
Himadri R. Chaudhuri: [email protected]


Bardhi, F. and G. M. Eckhardt. 2017. Liquid Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 44 (3), 582-597.
Ekholm, B. and J. Rockstrom. 2019. Digital Technology can Cut Global Emissions by 15%. World Economic Forum.
Farrell, J. R. and R. P. Hill. 2018. Poverty Research and Measurement: Making the Case for Consumption Adequacy. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 52 (3), 770-791.
Hill, R. P. 2002. Consumer Culture and the Culture of Poverty: Implications for Marketing Theory and Practice. Marketing Theory, 2 (3), 273-293.
Inman, J. J., A. C. Peter, and P. Raghubir. 1997. Framing the Deal: The Role of Restrictions in Accentuating Deal Value. Journal of Consumer Research, 24 (1), 68-79.
Jagadale S. R., H. R. Chaudhuri, and D. Kadirov. 2020. Quality-Of-Life as Chronotopefication and Futurization: Subsistence Consumer Experiences in India. Journal of Consumer Affairs (forthcoming).
Kotler, P. 2020. The Consumer in the Age of Corona Virus. Moneylife.
Kuanr, A., D. Pradhan, and H. R. Chaudhuri. 2020. I (do not) Consume; therefore, I am: Investigating Materialism and Voluntary Simplicity through a Moderated Mediation Model. Psychology & Marketing, 37 (2), 260-277.
Martin, K. D. and R. P. Hill. 2012. Life Satisfaction, Self-determination, and Consumption Adequacy at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Journal of Consumer Research, 38 (6), 1155-1168.
Mick, D. G. and S. Fournier. 1998. Paradoxes of Technology: Consumer Cognizance, Emotions, and Coping Strategies. Journal of Consumer Research, 25 (2), 123–143.
Webb, D. J., L. A. Mohr, and K. E. Harris. 2008. A Re-examination of Socially Responsible Consumption and its Measurement. Journal of Business Research, 61 (2), 91-98.
Xu, J., and Z. Peng. 2015. People at Risk of Influenza Pandemics: The Evolution of Perception and Behavior. PLOS ONE, 10 (12), e0144868.
Žižek, S. 2020. Pandemic! COVID-19 Shakes the World. New York; London: Or Books.