Cathy completed her undergraduate degree in Business and Marketing at Trinity College Dublin and then her Masters and PhD in Marketing at University College Dublin.
Prior to her time as a doctoral student, she spent a number of years working as the Marketing Manager for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream in Ireland. In this varied role, she had the opportunity to apply theory in practice and nourish a growing interest in ethical and social marketing and the consequences of the current marketing agenda on society and the environment. She also got to eat lots of ice-cream!
The theme of Cathy’s recent research centres on the anti-consumption concept of voluntary simplicity, which is centred on the idea that personal satisfaction, fulfilment and happiness result from a commitment to the non-material aspects of life. It consists of a group of consumers questioning their own lifestyle and consumption. Drawing from this, she has been studying the effects and consequences of “limiting consumption” for a period of time on a number of research participants. They opted out of mass consumerism and curtailed their consumption of physical products by only buying necessities. This research provided insights and data on the role consumption plays in determining a person’s well-being and happiness and what happens when individuals decide to opt out of the market place, if this is indeed even possible. The study serves as a basis for discussion and further research regarding the transformation of society’s consumption patterns, values and lifestyles.
Cathy’s other research interest’s centre on Sustainability and also online consumption communities that focus on health and wellness.
With regards to teaching, Cathy’s interests ultimately lie in consumer behaviour, marketing ethics and social marketing.