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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

Module Aims

• to enable you to understand and explore issues and contemporary debates on in luxury; • to enable you to develop a historical as well as a contemporary understanding of key issues in luxury; • to enable you to develop a consumerist and business understanding of key drivers, issues and considerations in the luxury sector.

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.

Special Features

Students will have the opportunity to participate in the luxury brand study trip. Guest lectures delivered by luxury industry and academic experts are normally included in this module where possible.

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

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

Journal of Brand Management. Journal of Brand Management. .

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

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

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

Journal of Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research. .

Internet Resource.

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

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

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

Internet Resource.

Internet Resource.

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

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

Internet Resource.

Internet Resource.

Journal of Marketing. Journal of Marketing. .

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

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

European Journal of Marketing. European Journal of Marketing. .

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

Internet Resource.

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

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

Journal of Business Research. Journal of Business Research. .

Business Horizons. Business Horizons. .

Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business Review. .

Journal of Marketing Communications. Journal of Marketing Communications. .



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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