MN30105 Consumer Research
I consume healthy products and I love living healthy lifestyle. The question is when was the turning point and why did I choose this way of living?
Do you like drinking any kind of alcohol, especially wine? Does anybody smoke, eat pizzas, fast food, sandwiches, doughnuts, cakes, junk food, fries, put sugar in the coffee or add high sugar vanilla syrup to it? I do not do any of this! Alright, I admit I love wine, too and that is way I drink a glass or two of it only for special occasions. I read each label with the ingredients of a product when I buy it in the supermarket. Probably it sounds ridiculous to some of you, but this how it is…
In my essay I have chosen to analyze my healthy lifestyle. It is a bread topic, but when devising narratives of consumption, as Shankar et al. (2001:445) suggests, I will focus on the “turning point” moments in my life when I realized the distinction between healthy and unhealthy products. In opposition to the ‘neo-classical’ perception of consumer behavior (Shankar et al., 2006:448), consumption is rarely rational (Jansson-Boyd, 2009). By analyzing my personal introspection I will argue that I am not an exception. In addition, I will explore my own practice and feelings to reflect on my consumption experience. As a result I hope to gain more understanding of my own irrational behavior, such as spending more money on a product just because I consider it healthy and good for me instead of simply buying a big hamburger with chips.
In order to achieve this and “make sense” of my introspection, I am going to draw a conceptual framework, which will cover theories on consumer consumption theories (CCT) (Arnould and Thompson, 2005) applied to social class and lifestyle (Solomon, 2013;
MN30105 Consumer Research
Stillerman, 2004); and on family identity (Epp and Price, 2008). Additionally, through the “distributed view of cultural meaning” (Hannerz, 1992:16), I will attempt to show that my consumption of healthy products was influenced by the culture of my family. My paper is structured as follows. First, from my introspection I explain the turning point in my life that led me to my current consumer behaviour. Then I offer a definition of what a healthy lifestyle is and my perception of the issue. Further, I advocate that the social class to which I belong influences the way of living which I favour. In this part I also argue that my deeply held culturally-informed value materialism and my affinity to luxury dictate my consumption of healthy products. Finally, I ask myself if my consumption in this case is addictive and I conclude what I understood of my consumption experience by writing this paper.
Once upon a time …
“Narratives are stories” and are seen to be a fundamental way to understand how consumers structure and make sense of their consumption experience (Shankar et al., 2001:3). Although this method has been criticized by Wallendorf and Brucks (1993), who claim that introspection is not part of consumer research because it suffers from severe methodological shortcomings, I believe as stated by Hixon and Swann (1933), citied by Gould (1995:720) that “one can never know as much about another's inner states as about one's own”. Moreover, Gould (1991:194) states that much of consumer research has failed to describe many experiential aspects of our own consumer behavior. Therefore I focus on the turning moments in my life which have influenced my consumption behavior (Shankar et al., 2001:445). “I was 18 when my life has changed 180 degrees”
MN30105 Consumer Research
he turning point in my life came after my father's death, just two months before I had to
go to University in a foreign country. Although I had been taught since I was a child to buy the best and most expensive food I could afford (Fisher, 1987), I realized that not always the highest...
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