Breaking the Limits - Posthumanism, Consumption, and the Future of the Human

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (monograph) | Defence date: 2017-03-31
Degree programme
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 47/2017
In the last couple of decades, a certain vibe made itself felt in both academic and popular circles. The fields of marketing, cultural and interpretivist consumer research (and other related ones, such as e.g. Organization Studies) are no exception. Bearing different names, that breeze quickly became a wind, today being mostly known as the Posthumanist, or the Transhumanist movement. The main aim of my PhD thesis is to introduce Christian theology as the main force that shapes and legitimizes the Poshumanist movement and to show the ways in which, in turn, this movement influences fields such as postmodern and critical marketing, cultural, and interpretive consumer research and, especially, the emerging field of Posthuman Consumer Research. Accordingly, my thesis contributes to the ongoing discussions within the field of Posthuman Consumer Research regarding the rise of the so-called ''cyborgian consumer''. By taking on the proposed approach, this research explores issues pertaining to the future of (biological and technological) identity, the commodity, markets, and consumption at large. Adding to the ongoing discussion, and despite recent research, my thesis does not approach technology and various contemporary philosophical paradigms (e.g. non-representationalism, post-structuralism, speculative realism) as the great disruptors and actors behind the inception of Poshumanism and the cyborg, but rather theology. Therefore, this research identifies and addresses an important oversight in the Posthuman Consumer Culture, i.e. the virtually complete absence of theological analyses. This creates an additional angle of research for the culturally-oriented consumer researchers interested in the subject, but not only.
Thesis advisor
Tikkanen, Henrikki, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Marketing, Finland
posthumanism, transhumanism, consumer culture, theology