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Seminaires de recherche Marketing

Materialism and the Objectification of „Things“

Pia Furchheim (HEC Lausanne)

2 mars 2017  -  09:00-10:00, salle Anthropole 3088

Materialism typically understood as the importance people place on wordly possessions (maybe also extending this to the acquisition and consumption process), has received widespread attention in consumer research. Over the last three decades several conceptualizations have emerged. While all of them share a common theme a closer inspection reveals a blurred understanding of what materialism is and what it is not. Moreover, the different understandings of materialism ultimately may result in different consequences that are in some areas almost diametrically opposed to one another. In addition to that there is a lack of understanding of the notion of “things” being used in a materialistic way. While all researchers so far measure materialism with respect to tangible “material” goods, some of them at least on a conceptual level allow the possibility for including services, experiences and even other people in the definition. The present paper scrutinizes the different existing conceptualizations, identifying underlying themes and differences. Moreover, we discuss the role of possessions within the scope of materialistic behavior and propose an extension to the understanding of materialism. 

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