From Competitive Consumption to Regret of Consumption A Contextualized Exploration of Keeping up With the Joneses in Purchase and Consumption among Women of Mashhad
IntroductionToday, the reasons for more consumption than the basic needs are differentiation, self-glorification, variety, and etc. The culture of keeping up with the Joneses in consumption is developed in Iran. The complexity of Iranian society cannot be expressed in terms of consumption, fashion, or even distinction concept. The complex culture of Iran has very complicated layers that cannot be explained theoretically by conventional theories like the concept of consumption. Therefore, we should try to make this concept visible in the context of Iranian society. For this reason, we should refer to the context of the community and discover the processes that lead to the formation of such a concept (Keep up with the Joneses) and action (competitive interaction). Therefore, this study tended to investigate the formation dynamics of the keep up with the Joneses process in the purchase and consumption of the target sample.
MethodsThe present study was carried out in the form of qualitative methodology and using the background theory. The sampling was based on theoretical and purposeful sampling. The researcher of this study categorized the areas in which the possibility of keeping up with the Joneses existed in accordance with the results of the preliminary interviews. Also, based on the preliminary interviews of the samples which were selected from different classes of society, the researcher concluded that the samples of the lower classes of the society did not provide much information. Because women of these classes did not have a special wealth to do the keep up with the Joneses behavior in consumption. Therefore, the researcher selected his samples from the women of middle and middle upward classes of Mashhad, who due to having a special wealth, were most attracted to purchasing, consumption and showing off behaviors. In this regard, the information of this study was collected using in-depth and semi-deep interviews. It's worth mentioning that the sampling process has continued to reach the theoretical saturation. In this way, data collection and data analysis were done simultaneously. In this study, open source, axial and selective coding were used in data analysis.
Discussion of Results &
ConclusionsResearch findings consisted of 31 main categories and a core category named regret of consumption. Accordingly, the conceptual tables, paradigm model and theoretical scheme of the research were presented. The interpretation of the results generally showed high "competitive consumption" of the target community and low purchasing power, which resulted in the "regret of consumption". The satisfaction process of regret of consumption is an ineffective and imperfect process, therefore the dynamics of competitive consumption and keep up with the Joneses consumption becomes circularly and synergy more active and more powerful. Also, the results indicate that accompaniment in shopping (joining others with no intention to buy), accompaniment in window-shopping (watching new goods), and authority in buying that makes a person more socially admired, are among the important factors that lead to occurrence of competitive consumption phenomenon, in other words, women tend to buy and consume more.
Also, the psychological benefits of shopping for women are also known as important factors for the competitive consumption and increased tendency of consumption for women. The psychological benefit increases the self-esteem and enjoyment of shopping for women. In addition, the results show that the participants are influenced by others and due to their attention to others idea, they are more intended for show off consumption and keep up with the Joneses consumption. This type of consumption that occurs as a result of others effect is discussed in the present study with the title of "Hegemonic Cultural Consumption", which appears in form of self-glorification and enjoying the distinction between themselves and others, answering others' showing off behaviors, keep up with the Joneses purchase and parties, as well as replacements of old-fashioned home appliances.
Journal of Applied Sociology the University of Isfahan, Volume:29 Issue: 4, 2018
123 - 146
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