The gay lifestyle ‐ spaces for a subculture of consumption

Craig Haslop (Marketing Executive, Wyvern Direct Response, Cambridge, UK)
Helene Hill (Lecturer, Department of Retailing and Marketing, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Ruth A. Schmidt (Acting Head of Department, Department of Retailing and Marketing, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 1 September 1998


Presents a study of designated gay service environments. Conceptually, the study draws together ideas and frameworks from the consumption literature and from the study of service environments. Analyses issues surrounding gay cultural socialization and its effect on consumption patterns and expression through service environments. The study of the interplay between gay subculture and servicescapes is grounded in qualitative and observational data through field work conducted in the Manchester “gay village”. Findings indicate that communitas, individualism and diversity are key facets of the subculture, with bars being used as individual expressions of identity, moods and emotions. Other influences on consumption patterns include interpersonal interaction with friends, the hetero‐ and homosexual cultural interface, and the ambience of the service environment. Discusses implications for the service marketer, such as the application of marketing models to the creation of servicescapes which reflect and suit the subcultures they are designed for; and raises issues for marketing methodology by noting the value of consumption‐based research in creating a picture of the “gay” lifestyle.



Haslop, C., Hill, H. and Schmidt, R. (1998), "The gay lifestyle ‐ spaces for a subculture of consumption", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 318-326.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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