Graduate School of Commerce and Management Hitotsubashi University Tokyo, Japan 186-8601 Department of Sociology Princeton University Princeton, NJ, US 08544
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* I would like to thank Paul DiMaggio, Russell Belk, Jennifer Lena, Richard Cohn, and Ikuya Sato for helpful feedback and encouragement. Please address correspondence to Takeshi Matsui, Department of Sociology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paper examines the healing boom in Japan at the turn of the century. Since the late 1990s, many firms in different industries have launched a large number of “healing” products and services. Although such a product category had not existed in Japan until this boom, it had been socially constructed through the self-enforcing interaction between media discourse that reported the boom and the imitative behavior of firms, which was triggered by the reports. This interaction prompted cognitive institutionalization, which means that healing is accepted as an objective reality. It is now taken for granted that healthy people consume “healing” products. Above all, the expression Iyashi-kei (healing kind) is used frequently for describing certain kinds of laypersons, who just help us relax. To investigate the behavior of firms and the media discourse, I analyzed 5,371 newspaper articles. On the other hand, to understand the environment of ideas to which ordinary magazine readers were exposed, I conducted a content analysis of 8,038 titles of magazine articles. The analysis argues that consumers’ needs for healing are socially constructed through the interaction among media discourse, the imitative behavior of firms, and consumer behaviors.
Introduction The purpose of this case study is to examine the development process of the healing boom, the... [continues]
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(2012, 03). The Social Construction of Consumer Needs: a Case Analysis of the “Healing Boom” in Japan*. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Social-Construction-Of-Consumer-Needs-947056.html
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"The Social Construction of Consumer Needs: a Case Analysis of the “Healing Boom” in Japan*." StudyMode.com. 03, 2012. Accessed 03, 2012. http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Social-Construction-Of-Consumer-Needs-947056.html.