Conspicuous Anti-Consumption? The Motives of Anti-Consumption and their Connection to Conspicuous Consumption

The conscious renunciation of different types of consumption is justified by various motives, such as the sustainability aspect. This fact suggests that motives are very different from the ones of conspicuous consumption. But is that true? The aim of the study is to examine whether the motives for anti-consumption can be found in the motives for conspicuous consumption. The research question therefore is: What motives lie behind anti-consumption, and can these motives be found in classical conspicuous consumption? As part of a qualitative study, eight in-depth interviews were conducted in order to generate a broad range of motives for different anti-consumption behaviors. In addition to previously deductively determined motives for the renunciation, the motives obtained from these interviews were then inductively summarized in a motive scheme and subsequently compared to the motives of classical conspicuous consumption. As a result, there is a connection between the motives of anti-consumption and the motives of conspicuous consumption. While the primary motives for anti-consumption are not related to conspicuous consumption motives, there are secondary motives (supporting the primary motives) for anti-consumption that can also be assigned to conspicuous consumption. This implies that some kind of “conspicuous anti-consumption” is part of today's consumer culture.




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