Lacanian concept of consumer desire, The imaginary and symbolic orders

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)



Understanding and knowing how the "desire" element is formed is one of the most important aspects of studying consumer psychology. The combination of psychology and marketing can provide a more insightful understanding of the actions leading to consumer purchases. Focusing on the "unconscious" and the role of "other" in the formation of "desire", this research aims to elaborate the measure of "consumer desire" using Lacan's explanation in two imaginary and symbolic fields.


After studying the literature related to Lacan's psychoanalytical theories, the conceptualization of the dimensions, components, and indicators of the consumer's desire measure was carried out in two imaginary and symbolic fields. Then, the model and measure designed based on the data collected from the statistical population of this study, including buyers/users of luxury cars in Tehran, were analyzed by survey method.


The findings confirm that the consumer's desire at the subconscious level is influenced by the concepts that Lacan proposed in both imaginary and symbolic fields as places to define "small other" and "big other" according to linguistic rules.


The data analysis shows that the components of nostalgia, temporary bliss, fantasy, imagination, central security, and relaxation in the imaginary field, as well as the components of compliance and social identity in the symbolic field, can analyze different aspects of consumer desire.Keywords: Consumer desire, Desire, Lacan, Theory of Other, Imaginary field, Symbolic field

Journal of Business Management, Volume:22 Issue: 1, 2023
113 to 147  
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