An Investigation Into the Consumption of Cigarettes Among Young Adult Males

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Consumer Research Project

‘An investigation into the consumption of cigarettes among young adult males’

Word Count: 4226
Lecturer: Paddy Dolan
Researcher: Marcel Whelan
Student Number: C08348634
Date: 12/03/2012
Dt 341/4 Marketing

Table of Contents
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..……….3 Literature review………………………………………………………………………………….……..4 Research Methodology…………………………………………………………………..……….….7 Research Questions…………………………………………………………………….…….7 Research Objectives………………………………………………………………….………7 The Sample……………………………………………………………………………..…………7 Focus Group …………………………………………………………………………….…….…7 Depth Interview ……………………………………………………………………..…………8 Stimulus…………………………………………………………………………………………..…8 Data Analysis and interpretation….………………………………………………………….…..9 The effects of product stimuli on self-concept through maturation…….9 The effects of product stimuli on interpersonal relationships…………...10 Psychological Discrepancies……….……………………………………..………………11 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………….…..……13 Bibliography …..…………………………………………………………….………….……….…..……14 Appendices…………………………………………………………………………………………..………15 Moderators Outline………………………………………………………….………….……15 Stimulus …………………………………………………………………………..……………….15 Focus Group Transcript……………………………………………………..………………16 Depth Interview Transcript…………………………………………………………………41

Introduction
The purpose of the consumer research project is to investigate the consumption of cigarettes among young adult males. Hamilton & Hasson (2010:1102) describe smoking as ‘risky consumption behaviour’ due to the damage it causes to health as well as causing social disapproval. Young adult males relationships with others are surely affected by their smoking habits. Physical health aspects seem to be a major topic in relation to smoking studies however this study explores the more psychological health aspects of smoking. Due to the increase of anti-smoking advertising in Ireland by the HSE (Health Service Executive) and by other bodies around the world, smoking is being portrayed as a negative and undesirable consumption practice. Some ads in particular are targeted at males, namely ones that insinuate that smoking causes impotence. The desired effects of these adverts are to change people’s habitual consumption of cigarettes. The researcher wishes to find out how the consumption of cigarettes has shaped young adults behaviour through their lived experience. The researcher wishes to know how their smoking habits affect themselves in a social context as well their own self concepts. To assess the problem the researcher will look at two theories which will help better understand how products gain their identity through their social consumption and external influences, and to understand how this affects the male self-concept. The first theory relates to how products act as social stimuli and the second is self-discrepancy theory.

Literature review
Solomon (1983:319) proposes that the ‘subjective experience’ gained from the consumption of products that are symbolic are best understood when placed in the larger context of social reality. In the present study smoking cigarettes and what it is symbolises is being discussed and how behaviour around it is formed. Hirschman (1980) (cited in Solomon 1983) argues that research has not considered how products affect interpersonal relationships or individuals social ecology. Solomon (1983) argues that consumers undertake product symbolism to set the stage of the demands of their social environment. He suggests that consumers refer to the ‘social information’ that is imbedded in products to construct ones self-image in order to take full advantage of the social role they play. Rose (1962) (cited in Solomon 1983:321) refers to that a role is ‘a set of related meanings that directs the individual’s behaviour in a social setting’. Solomon’s article ‘The Role of Products as Social Stimuli’ is discussed in depth as it provides an explanatory...
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