Conspicuous Consumption

  • Dieter BögenholdEmail author
  • Farah Naz


Consumption patterns demonstrate the social position of their users. Purchasing wealthy objects can make people happy, giving satisfaction, “joy” and “pleasure” to the buyer. Purchases should also highlight the economic position and social power of the owners of expensive and rare goods. The overlapping functions include three separate stages: object reward (a product works particularly well), social reward (buying and using goods leads to social recognition and the envy of others) and self-reward (buying and using goods makes us happy because it meets required standards and expectations). Taste can be described as a kind of social grammar which we use, similar to the grammar of languages, in a natural way without explicit rules, and preferences correlate with taste patterns as a basis for decisions. For commercial purposes, consumer behaviour can be manipulated in order to increase sales, which falls into the domain of marketing and advertising.


Preferences Taste Rationality Conspicuous consumption Veblen Beauty 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of KlagenfurtKlagenfurt, CarinthiaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and CriminologySargodha UniversitySargodhaPakistan

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