Exploring the Inter-play between the Decorative Consumption Dimensions: A deep dive into Conspicuousness and Snobbism through cases of Wristwatches and Houses
Keywords:Conspicuousness, Decorative Consumption, Houses, Snobbism, Wristwatches
Laden by the hope of being superior to others, the modern-day man engages in lavish consumption patterns choosing ‘class over mass’ through procurement of expensive goods and services. This robust urge to mark one’s stature in the society provokes common populace to quest for ostentatious ownership of goods and services by engaging in consumption of high-priced articles rooted upon the exhibitionist nature, defined as Decorative Consumption. This paper explores the inter-dependence between two dimensions of such consumption, namely, Conspicuousness and Snobbism, borrowing data from a previous study conducted by the authors. Since existing literature fails to provide a lucid inference on the inter-effect between Conspicuousness and Snobbism, this paper aims at filling the research gaps, considering the cases of wristwatches and houses. The results of the study reveal that, consumption desires, which are Snobbish, are necessarily Conspicuous, with regard to the cases of wristwatches and houses. However, with regard to wristwatches, there could be consumption desires which are Conspicuous, yet, not Snobbish. In the contrary, when considering houses, the findings suggest that the Conspicuous demand is likely to be Snobbish. This is a possible indication of product-specific pattern; the causes for which warrant further research. Finally, the findings of this paper not only contribute towards enriching theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the interdependence between decorative consumption dimensions but also suggest possible implications on public policymaking.
Amaldoss, W., & Jain, S. (2005, February). Pricing of Conspicuous Goods: A Competitive Analysis of Social Effects. Journal of Marketing Research, XLII , 30 – 42.
Aronson, E., & Linder, D. (1965). Gain and Loss of esteem as determinants of interpersonal attractiveness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 156-172.
Bagwell, L. S., & Bernheim, B. D. (1996). Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption. The American Economic Review, 86(3), 349-373.
Banahene , S. (2017, August 21). The Impact of Brand Personality and Students’ Self- Concept on Brand Engagement. International Journal of Business and Social Research, 7(8), 12-25.
Bergman , A. (2009, April 24). Conspicuous Consumption: A study of prestige-related consumer behavior. Sweden: Lund University.
Bezzaouia , M., & Joanta, A. R. (2016). The relationship between cultural values and consumer motivations for purchasing luxury brands. EcoForum, 5(1).
Braun, O., & Wickland, R. (1989). Psychological antecedents of conspicuous consumption. Journal of Economic Psychology, 10(2), 161-187.
Campbell, C. (1995, March). Conspicuous Confusion? A Critique of Veblen's Theory of Conspicuous Consumption. Sociological Theory , 13(1), 37-47.
Chaudhur, H. R., & Majumdar, S. (2006). Of Diamonds and Desires: Understanding Conspicuous Consumption from a Contemporary Marketing Perspective. 2006(11), 2-13.
Chen, E., Yeh, N.-C., & Wang, P. C. (2008). Conspicuous Consumption: A Preliminary Report of Scale Development and Validation. Advances in Consumer Research, 35, 686-687.
Chen, J. (2019, May 23). Investopedia. Retrieved September 15, 2019, from Microeconomics: Veblen Goods: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/veblen-good.asp
Corneo, G., & Jeanne, O. (1997, October). Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism. Journal of Public Economics, 66(1), 55-71. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0047-2727(97)00016-9
Elliot, R. (1994). Addictive Consumption: Function and Fragmentation in Postmodernity. Journal Of Consumer Policy, 159-179.
Friese, S, & Koenig, H. (1993). Shopping for trouble: Advancing the Consumer Interest. 24-29.
Ghasemi, A., & Zahediasl, S. (2012). Normality Tests for Statistical Analysis: A Guide for Non-Statisticians. International Journal on Endocrinology Metabolism, 486-489. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693611/
Goenka, S., & Thomas, M. (2019, January). The Malleable Morality of Conspicuous Consumption. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 75.
Gunaruwan, T. L., & Karunanayake, C. (2017). Inter-dependence of decorative consumption dimensions based on conspicuousness and snobbism: An empirical examination of conceptual relationships using consumption drivers of wristwatches and houses among employees in Colombo. 6th International Conference of the Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists: Strengthening Economic Resilience for Inclusive Growth. 6, pp. 23 - 43. Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists (SLFUE).
Jain, A., & Sharma, R. (2018, January). Understanding of the Term Conspicuous Consumption: A Literature Review. International Journal of Management and Applied Science, 4(1), 33-36.
Karunanayake, C., & Gunaruwan, T. L. (2017a). Impact of socio-demographic factors on Decorative Consumption of wristwatches among employees in Colombo. ICONArts 2017: The Role of Social Sciences and Humanities in Research for Development (p. 44). University of Colombo.
Karunanayake, C., & Gunaruwan, T. L. (2017b). Decorative Consumption Patterns and socio-demographic affiliations in the Sri Lankan Society: The case of Houses. Sri Lanka Economic Research Conference (SLERC). VI, pp. 37 - 43. Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists.
Karunanayake, C., & Gunaruwan, T. L. (2018, March). Decorative Consumption and Socio-Demographic Antecedents: Revelations from a study on Wristwatches and Houses among Colombo Office Workers. Sri Lanka Journal of Economic Research, 5(2), 41 - 59.
Kastanakis, M., & Balabanis, G. (2014). Explaining variation in conspicuous luxury consumption: An individual differences' perspective. Journal of Business Research , 67, 2147–2154.
Kim. (2015). The Influence on Three Fundamental Factors on Conspicuous Consumption.
Lewis, & Moital. (2016). Young professionals’ conspicuous consumption of clothing. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management,, 20(2), 138-56.
Liebenstein. (1950). Bandwagon, Snob, and Veblen Effects in the Theory of Consumers' Demand. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 64(2), 183-207.
Murphy, J. L. (2018). Measuring Conspicuous Consumption. Journal of Social Science for Policy Implications, 6(2), 26-33.
Navon, A., Shy, O., & Thisse, J. F. (1995). Product Differentiation in the Presence of Positive and Negative Network Effects. 1-22.
Page, C. (1992). "A History of Conspicuous Consumption". Association for Consumer Research, 82-87.
Perera, M. A., Mudalige, J., & Patabandige, A. (2013). Status with Conspicuous Goods: The Role of Modern Housing. Sri Lanka Journal of Economcis Research, 1(1), 101-112.
Pettinger, T. (2017, July 21). Veblen Goods. Retrieved September 15, 2019, from Economics: https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/1164/economics/veblen-goods/
Potluri, R. M., Ansari, R., Challa, S. K., & Puttam, L. (2014). A Treatise on the Cross-Cultural Analysis of Indian Consumers’ Conspicuous Consumption of Veblen Products. Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business, 5(3), 35-43. doi:https://doi.org/10.13106/jidb.2014.vol5.no3.35.
Riivits-Arkonsuo, I., & Leppiman , A. (2015, November). Young Consumers and their Brand Love. International Journal of Business and Social Research, 5(10), 33-44.
Rucker, D., & Galnisky, A. (2009). Conspicuous consumption versus utilitarian ideals: How different levels of power shape consumer behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(3), 549-555.
Sirgy, J. (1982). Self-Concept in Consumer Behavior: A Critical Review. Journal of Consumer Research, 9(3), 287-300.
Topçu, U. C. (2016). Commodity Shines Identity: An Analysis Of Conspicuous Consumption In Relation To Self-Image Congruence And Materialism. 8th International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development - "Building Resilient Society", (pp. 750-756). Zagreb.
Uzgoren, E., & Guney, T. (2012, October 24). The Snop Effect in the Consumption of Luxury Goods. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 62, 628-637.
Veblen, T. B. (1899). The Theory of The Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. (U. Books, Ed.) New York: Dover Publications.
Vigneron, F., & Johnson, L. (1999). A Review and a Conceptual Framework of Prestige-Seeking Consumer Behaviour. Academy of Marketing Science Review (1). Retrieved from http://www.amsreview.org/articles/vigneron01-1999.pdf
Wright, R. A., & Contrada, R. L. (1986). Dating selectivity and interpersonal attraction: toward a better understanding of the 'elusive phenomenon'. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 131-148.
Wu, L., So, K., Xiong, L., & King, C. (2019). The impact of employee conspicuous consumption cue and physical attractiveness on consumers’ behavioral responses to service failures. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(1), 21-40.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).