Advertisement

Conspicuous Consumption

  • Dieter BögenholdEmail author
  • Farah Naz
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Preferences Taste Rationality Conspicuous consumption Veblen Beauty 

References

  1. Bauman, Z. (2013). Consuming Life. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Bögenhold, D. (2007). Bourdieu. In R. E. Weir (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Ameriacan Social Class (pp. 91–92). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bögenhold, D., & Fachinger, U. (2000). The Social Embeddedness of Consumption – Towards the Relationship of income and expenditures over time in Germany. Discussion Paper for Social Policy Research.Google Scholar
  4. Bögenhold, D., Michaelides, P. G., & Papgerogiou, T. (2016). Schumpeter, Veblen and Bourdieu on Institutions and the Formation of Habits. Schumpeter, Veblen and Bourdieu on Institutions and the Formation of Habits. Munich, Bayern, Germany: Munich Personal RePEc Archive. Retrieved May 30, 2018, from https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/74585/.
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bowles, S. (1998). Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions. Journal of Economic Literature, 36(1), 75–111. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/2564952.
  7. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Rochberg-Halton, E. (1981). The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dorfman, J. (1949). The Economic Mind in American Civilization. New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
  9. Fehr, E., & Hoff, K. (2011). Introduction: Tastes, Castes and Culture: the Influence of Society on Preferences. The Economic Journal, 121(556), 96–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fromm, E. (1976). To Have or to Be? New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  11. Goffman, E. (1979 [1951]). Gender Advertisements. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Hirsch, F. (1976). The Social Limits of Growth. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kahneman, D. (2012). Thinking Fast and Slow. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  14. Komlos, J. (2014). What Every Economics Student Needs to Know and Doesn’t Get in the Usual Principles Text. New York: Sharpe.Google Scholar
  15. Krugman, P. (2009, September 5). A Few Notes on My Magazine Article. New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/05/a-few-notes-on-my-magazine-article/.
  16. Loader, C., & Tilman, R. (1995). Thorstein Veblen’s Analysis of German Intellectualism: Institutionalism as a Forecasting Method. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 54(3), 339–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and Personality (1st ed.). New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
  18. Mayer, R. N. (1978). Exploring Sociological Theories by Studying Consumers. American Behavioral Scientist, 21(4), 600–613. Retrieved from  https://doi.org/10.1177/000276427802100410.
  19. Miles, S. (2010). Spaces for Consumption. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Postman, N. (2006). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  21. Riesman, D., Schelsky, H., & Denney, R. (1958). Die einsame Masse. Eine Untersuchung der Wandlungen des amerikanischen Charakters (1st ed.). Rowohlt.Google Scholar
  22. Schulze, G. (2005). Die Erlebnisgesellschaft: Kultursoziologie der Gegenwart. Frankfurt am Main: Campus.Google Scholar
  23. Schutz, A. (1996). Collected Papers. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schwarz, B. (2007). The Paradox of Choise. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  25. Stehr, N. (2008). Moral Markets: How Knowledge and Affluence Change Consumers and Products. Florence: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  26. Veblen, T. (1898). Why Is Economics not an Evolutionary Science? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 12(4), 373–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Veblen, T. (1899). The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  28. Veblen, T. (1904). The Theory of Business Enterprise. New York: Scribner’s.Google Scholar
  29. Veblen, T. (2007 [1899]). The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. London and New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  30. Weber, M. (1972). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.Google Scholar
  31. Weber, M. (1988 [1904]). Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. In M. Weber (Ed.), Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie (vol. 1, pp. 17–206). Tübingen: Mohr.Google Scholar
  32. Wiswede, G. (2000). Konsumsoziologie—Eine vergessene Disziplin. In Rosenkranz, D. Rosenkranz, & N. F. Schneider (Eds.), Konsum: Soziologische, ökonomische und psychologische Perspektiven (pp. 23–71). Opladen: Leske und Budrich.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations