Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"Negative symbolic consumption and consumers' dive for self-esteem: The case of the fashion industry"

This article looks at the relationship between self-esteem and consumption of goods in the fashion industry. The article examines the process by which consumers attribute "negative symbolic meanings" to certain products and how this affects consumption in the fashion market. The researches assert that consumers make purchasing decisions based upon the positive or negative attributes held by the products. Consumers make purchases in the fashion industry based on their feelings of self-esteem and whether a product would improve that self-esteem. And consumers avoid certain purchases in order to "protect their self-esteem." The article explains "Symbolic Consumption" as a point where consumers give intangible meaning to material products. The researches interviewed people about their feelings about fashion, self-esteem, group membership, and negative attribution to certain fashion or consumer decisions. They found that most people felt more comfortable dressing like part of a group, not standing out in a crowd. These people expressed a fear of being judged negatively and talked about poorly for fashion choices with negative symbolic meaning. The article then discusses how the marketing industry capitalizes on these positive and negative symbolic meanings and uses them to create ideal situations for positive consumption. This article is useful to me, because this talks about certain human qualities that drive consumerism in the fashion industry, and examines how this affects fashion marketing.


Banister, Emma N, and Margaret K Hogg. “Negative symbolic consumption and consumers' dive for self-esteem: The case of the fashion industry.” European Journal of Marketing. 38.7 (2004): 850. 20 February 2007 .

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