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Title: The concept of consumer values : a phenomenological exploration in the high-fidelity audio microculture
Author: Branch, J. D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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Abstract:
I suggest that in order to re-ignite the evolution of the concept of consumer values and, in turn, broaden its application, increase its employment, and, ultimately, raise its significance, a new conceptualisation of consumer values which improves our understanding of the phenomenon of consumer values is needed. The purpose of this research, therefore, was to develop a new conceptualisation of consumer values. In order to do so, the research explored the phenomenon of consumer values in the high-fidelity audio microculture, using a research design which was guided by hermeneutics and which drew on axiology. The result was a meaning-based conceptualisation of consumer values which suggests that consumer value is the meaning which is ascribed to a product as the result of the consumer’s valuation of the product. Valuation is a judgement process in which the consumer considers the characterisation of the product vis-à-vis his/her interest. Characterisation is the descriptive/appraisive meaning which the consumer ascribes to the product. Interest is a mental disposition - the meaningful standard to which the consumer appeals. Interest arises from appetence, and accompanies, stimulates, and directs valuative attention toward the product. Appetence is an instinctive and unconscious tendency. And attention is intentional meaning-making cognitive activity. The research contributes to the discipline of marketing by offering this meaning-based conceptualisation of consumer values which improves our understanding of the phenomenon of consumer values, thereby providing new insights into both the property of value and the process of valuation. It challenges long-standing assumptions of the phenomenon of consumer values in the discipline of marketing, and offers a more contextually- and culturally-attuned alternative to the economics-oriented conceptualisations of consumer value which have dominated the discipline of marketing. This meaning-based conceptualisation of consumer values, in combination with a microcultural analysis, constitutes a viable approach for understanding the links between products and consumers’ motivating structures. The research also lends support to the constitutive relationship between the distinct patterns of a microculture and the broader historical context of postmodern consumer culture. Additionally, it affords a richer understanding of how consumers use the distinct patterns of a microculture as frames of reference in the valuation of products, and conversely, how this valuation, in turn, helps to shape these distinct patterns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.596866  DOI: Not available
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