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Consumer resistance and anti‐consumption: Insights from the deviant careers of French illegal downloaders

Renaud Garcia‐Bardidia (IUT Epinal, CEREFIGE, Université Nancy 2, Nancy, France)
Jean‐Philippe Nau (IAE, CEREFIGE, Université Nancy 2, Nancy, France)
Eric Rémy (IAE, NIMEC, Université Rouen, Caen, France)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study consumer resistance and anti‐consumption in the context of illegal downloading of cultural goods in France. This practice is socially constructed as deviant by marketplace actors' moral labeling. To that extent, deviant careers are adopted as an analytic framework to articulate these two concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive approach was used. The authors conducted 49 in‐depth interviews in 2009. The data collected were then analyzed to build the different steps of downloaders' careers and related identities and practices.

Findings

The deviant careers identified shed light on the social construction of resistant identities and specific consumption practices in which social learning and devices play a major role. Accomplished careers enable deviant lifestyles that could be assimilated to anti‐consumption in a mundane context.

Practical implications

This study could help economic actors to improve their understanding of illegal downloaders' statements, motivations, and behaviors. It gives them clues to anticipate the massive changes in consumer culture occurring through dematerialization of cultural goods.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on the distinctive features of consumer resistance and anti‐consumption in a case of everyday and secret deviance strengthened by marketplace actors' moral labeling. It then helps to articulate these concepts through profiles related to downloaders' careers.

Keywords

Citation

Garcia‐Bardidia, R., Nau, J. and Rémy, E. (2011), "Consumer resistance and anti‐consumption: Insights from the deviant careers of French illegal downloaders", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45 No. 11/12, pp. 1789-1798. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090561111167423

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited