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Michelle Weinberger

Michelle F. Weinberger

Associate Professor

Michelle Weinberger is an associate professor at Medill. She earned her Ph.D. in Marketing with a minor in cultural sociology. Generally, her research takes a sociological approach to understanding consumers, stakeholders, and marketplace actors.

Weinberger teaches Consumer Insight in the IMC Full-Time master’s program, a required core class, as well as the Global Perspectives class, undergraduate Consumer Insight courses, and she supervises students working at companies and organizations during the IMC Master’s program’s Immersion Quarter. Her teaching philosophy centers on deeper understanding. Beyond memorization, she challenges students to apply their new knowledge developed throughout the courses she teaches to the world around them. Recognizing that learning styles are varied, she presents class material through a variety of pedagogical techniques. She uses assignments with consumers, in and out of class group exercises, lectures, case studies, topically relevant video material, and advertising analysis.

Weinberger is an active member, conference reviewer, contributor, and mentor for the Association for Consumer Research, American Marketing Association, and Consumer Culture Theory Consortium. She is a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Consumer Marketing and acts as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Consumer Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Marcromarketing, and Current Sociology. She is also serving as an elected Council Member for the American Sociological Association section on Consumers and Consumption. At Northwestern, she served on several search committees, edited MedillMatters, advises students, and engages in a range of interdisciplinary activities across campus.

For more information about Weinberger, including her curriculum vitae, visit her website.

Areas of Research

Weinberger’s research focuses on two areas. First, she studies socio-cultural aspects of consumption. She analyzes how people use consumption to create and span symbolic boundaries between themselves and others, often in contexts of collective rituals and social class. Second, her research focuses on the role of various forms of marketing communications in creating meaning for stakeholders and consumers and the effects of these communications at the firm and societal levels. Most recently, her interests have broadened to include understanding symbolic boundary work in the entrepreneurship world. She has begun ethnographic research and is developing conceptual papers on what her and coauthors broadly describe as “the sociocultural process of innovation.”

Her research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, European Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Advertising, and Journal of Advertising Research. Her research has won the Sidney J. Levy award and the Outstanding Article award in the European Journal of Marketing