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The University of Southampton

ARTD6144 Historical and Contemporary Issues in Luxury

Module Overview

This module explores a range of historical and contemporary issues affecting luxury, from luxury consumption, luxury marketing and management, technology and luxury, the relativity of luxury to the evolvement of luxury over time. As part of this module, the role and impact of the global business environment will be examined in the context of the luxury sector. The module will also examine the issues that impact sustainable and ethical luxury and develop strategic luxury management and leadership skills to a high level in a global luxury context. The internal and external factors that have impacted and influenced luxury businesses in the past, present and future will be explored.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • historical and contemporary issues impacting the luxury market from both a consumer and business perspective;
  • theory and practice of luxury management in a global business context and the development of sustainable luxury practices.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of corporate and social business responsibilities for both domestic, international and global luxury businesses;
  • critically analyse the role of luxury in society, in a cultural, social, personal and business context.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced research methods of key historical and contemporary issues in luxury;
  • communicate complex ideas at an advanced level through a variety of formats.


This module will allow you to engage with and critically reflect upon a number of historical and contemporary areas within the luxury sector. You will look at the meaning of luxury over time, the relativity of luxury, luxury from a cross cultural and global perspective, as well as the ethical and sustainable practices of luxury both in the past, present and future. You will also look at luxury from a consumerist viewpoint as well as its significance in the context of one’s social and personal identity. This will allow you to develop understanding of the meaning of luxury in different contexts and environments and how this impacts luxury branding and marketing as well understanding the key drivers of luxury and how the market is evolving at a domestic, international and global scale. You will focus on how key issues relating to luxury have developed over time and where luxury is heading in the future.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures • Seminars • Tutorials • Research workshops Learning activities can include: • Reflection on verbal or written feedback: this may be verbal or written offered during seminars, tutorials, group activities • Evaluation of feedback: this may take the form of reflective formative tasks • Group and collaborative projects and tasks • Independent research and investigation • Online reference material research • Peer group learning and peer assessment tasks • Problem-solving activities • Class discussion/critiques • Student presentations

Independent Study174
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Gardetti, M. Giron, M & Maria, E. (2016). Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship Volume II: More Stories from the Pioneers. 

Hoffmann, J, & Coste-Maniere, I (2012). Global Luxury Trends: Innovative Strategies for Emerging Markets. 

Journal of Marketing Communications. Journal of Marketing Communications. .

Hoffmann, J, & Coste-Maniere, I. (2011). Luxury Strategy in Action. 

Business Horizons. Business Horizons. .

Internet Resource.

Silverstein, M., Fiske, N & Butman, J. (2005). Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods - and How Companies Create Them. 

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. .

Luxury: History Culture and Consumption. Luxury: History Culture and Consumption. .

Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business Review. .

Internet Resource.

Internet Resource.

Journal of Brand Management. Journal of Brand Management. .

European Journal of Marketing. European Journal of Marketing. .

Thomas, D. (2007). Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. 

Armitage, J & Roberts, J (2016). Critical Luxury Studies: Art, Design & Media. 

Journal of Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research. .

Internet Resource.

Ricca, M. & Robin, R. (2012). Meta-luxury: Brand and the Culture of Excellence. 

Calefato, P. (2015). Luxury: Fashion, Lifestyles and Excess. 

Journal of Business Research. Journal of Business Research. .

McNeil, P. & Riello, G. (2016). Luxury: A Rich History. 

Journal of Marketing. Journal of Marketing. .

Internet Resource.

Kapferer, J.N. & Bastien, V. (2012). Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands. 

International Journal of Market Research. International Journal of Market Research. .

Chevalier, M & Gutsatz, M. (2012). Luxury Retail Management: How the World's Top Brands Provide Quality Product and Service Support. 

Internet Resource.



Peer assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Writing  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Writing  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Writing  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Field Trips

The luxury field trip will be covered within the course fee.


Core texts will be provided as part of the course fee. Other recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase these texts as appropriate.

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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