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The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the concept of meaning and the meaning making process in consumer behavior. While the study of the consumption focuses…
The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the concept of meaning and the meaning making process in consumer behavior. While the study of the consumption focuses increasingly on how consumers create meaning in a marketing dominated world, it views this process as relatively unproblematic. This paper challenges that perspective and argues that this process is inherently ambiguous.
This paper is primarily conceptual in nature. It utilizes a post-structural perspective to theoretically examine the concept of meaning and the meaning making process. It then applies this analysis to the consumption and production of popular culture. Three exemplars from the domain of digital fandom are provided to explore the conceptual arguments in the paper.
The paper argues that if the meanings of all texts are fundamentally unstable and that meaning itself is endlessly deferred in the meaning making process, then as the consumer becomes the author of the text, the instability and ambiguity of meaning and the meaning making process transfers equally to the consumption process. Rather than view this as a negative aspect of consumer culture, this paper argues that some consumers relish this ambiguity and the freedom that it gives them to manipulate these products, their textual meanings, and the readers’ identities.
The primary limitation of this paper is that it is conceptual in nature. Future research should empirically examine different cases of meaningless consumption to provide more evidence of this interesting and potentially pervasive aspect of consumer behavior.
There is virtually no research that examines meaningless consumption. The value of the paper is that it challenges a core concept in cultural theories of consumer behavior and extends our understanding of consumption.
The purpose of this paper is to assess the state of the art in social media and pharmaceutical marketing through empirical analysis of online consumer conversations…
The purpose of this paper is to assess the state of the art in social media and pharmaceutical marketing through empirical analysis of online consumer conversations. Proliferation of social media has significantly changed traditional one-way, marketing-controlled communications. Balance of power has shifted to consumers, who use social networking sites, blogs and forums to obtain extensive brand and product information, often from each other. This prompts companies towards more intimate, transparent and constant two-way consumer engagement. Pharmaceutical marketing and direct to consumer advertising (DTCA) are not immune to this pervasive, disruptive cultural/technological phenomenon, which poses particular challenges given regulatory, legal and ethical constraints on their marketing.
This research uses “netnographic” data collection of online conversations occurring in social media and develops an explanatory framework using grounded theory analytical methods.
This research shows that significantly impactful and pervasive bonding among consumers, bloggers and unofficial “experts” about pharmaceutical offerings is widespread, and occurs regardless (and perhaps in spite of) pharmaceutical companies’ involvement.
Considering the structure and nature of online consumer bonding, a way forward is proposed for pharmaceutical companies to implement social media strategies as part of their pharmaceutical marketing and DTCA efforts through an intermediary and interactive online presence arising from disease and health care education.
This paper explores how consumers use the media products of mass culture to co-create the meanings of popular culture. Specifically, we examine both why and how Harry…
This paper explores how consumers use the media products of mass culture to co-create the meanings of popular culture. Specifically, we examine both why and how Harry Potter fans utilize the primary texts written by J. K. Rowling to co-create their own fan fiction. Towards this end, we utilize Kenneth Burke's dramatistic method to explore the pattern of literary elements in both the original texts and the fan fiction. We argue that the primary impetus for consumers to engage in the co-creation of these texts is found in their ability to emphasize different ratios of literary elements in order to express their individual and collective desires. Through this process, fans utilize and contribute to the meta-textual meaning surrounding these primary focal texts and propel the original products of mass culture to the cultural texts of popular culture.