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Community and consumption: Towards a definition of the “linking value” of product or services

Bernard Cova (European School of Management, Paris, France)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 April 1997



Encapsulates the debate on the topics of confusion in consumption and the return of community. Starting with an ethnosociological analysis structuring the passage from modernity to postmodernity around the metamorphosis of the social link, aims at clarifying and explaining the different levels of the postmodern confusion in consumption. Modernity entered history as a progressive force promising to liberate humankind from everyday obligations and traditional bonds. As a consequence, modern consumption emphasized essentially the utilitarian value (“use value”) of products and services. Postmodernity, on the contrary, can be said to crown not the triumph of individualism, but the beginning of its end with the emergence of a reverse movement of a desperate search for community. With the neo‐tribalism distinguishing postmodernity, everyday life seems to mark out the importance of a forgotten element: the social link. Consequently, postmodern consumption appears to emphasize the “linking value” of products and services. Concludes with an exploration of the implications of postmodernity for rethinking marketing with the integration of the linking value concept.



Cova, B. (1997), "Community and consumption: Towards a definition of the “linking value” of product or services", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 31 No. 3/4, pp. 297-316.




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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