"From the rebellious aura of Harley-Davidson bikes to the utopian ethos of Star Trek, iconic brands and constellations of lifestyle goods exude symbolic meanings that attract consumers in an almost magnet-like fashion," write authors Zeynep Arsel (Concordia University) and Craig J. Thompson (University of Wisconsin-Madison). But sometimes these mythic meanings reach a cultural tipping point where a marketplace myth degenerates into a cultural cliché—for example yuppies, metrosexuals, urban gangstas, and hipsters.
Prior research shows that some consumers will abandon consumption practices once their associated meanings are no longer positive, but the authors believe this may be an oversimplification. Instead, they found that consumers are able to "demythologize" their consumption practices to distance themselves from unfavorable labels.
The authors investigated the category of "hipster," which has gained attention from the mass media in recent years. "This iconic category has evolved from its countercultural roots, originally aligned with beat sensibilities, to a trend-seeking über-consumer of the 2000s," the authors write. They analyze the hipster icon and note how it has become a trivializing label for indie consumption practices.
The authors interviewed individuals who participated in the indie marketplace as consumers or tastemakers (such as DJs and music critics). The researchers did not mention hipsters in the interview. "Interestingly all participants but one wanted to talk about how they were mistaken for, or accused of being a hipster just because they were consuming indie products," the authors write.
"Our findings suggest how backlash against identity categories such as hipster or metrosexual could generate complex and nuanced identity strategies that enable consumers to retain their tastes and interests while protecting these tastes from trivializing mythologies," the authors conclude.
Zeynep Arsel and Craig J. Thompson. "Demythologizing Consumption Practices: How Consumers Protect Their Field-Dependent Identity Investments from Devaluing Marketplace Myths." Journal of Consumer Research: February 2011. A preprint of this article (to be officially published online soon) can be found at http://journals.uchicago.edu/jcr.
Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy