EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Symbolic Consumption and the Social Construction of Product Characteristics

Ulrich Witt

Papers on Economics and Evolution from Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography

Abstract: As recognized since long, consumption serving to signal social status, group membership, or self-esteem is a socially contingent activity. The corresponding expenditures are motivated mainly by the symbolic value they have for transmitting the signal. However, this presupposes some form of social coordination on what are valid, approved symbols. Unlike consumption not serving signaling purposes, the technological characteristics of the goods and services consumed may be secondary – what counts is their socially agreed capacity to function as a symbol. The paper discusses in detail the cognitive underpinnings of social agreement on consumption symbols and a model of their spontaneous emergence.

Keywords: Length; 16; pages (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-pke
Date: 2008-12
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

There are no downloads for this item, see the EconPapers FAQ for hints about obtaining it.

Related works:
Journal Article: Symbolic consumption and the social construction of product characteristics (2010) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:esi:evopap:2008-15

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Papers on Economics and Evolution from Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography Deutschhausstrasse 10, 35032 Marburg. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Christoph Mengs (). This e-mail address is bad, please contact .

 
Page updated 2018-08-18
Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2008-15