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Anti-consumption: The lifestyles of the disciplined materialists

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Anti-consumption: The lifestyles of the disciplined materialists

Nepomuceno, Marcelo Vinhal (2012) Anti-consumption: The lifestyles of the disciplined materialists. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines why some people row against the consumerism tide and adopt anti-consumption lifestyles. Reasons for understanding this resistance are twofold. First, companies should create value for consumers who normally resist consumption by identifying the needs of this segment. Second, policy makers concerned with sustainability might benefit from understanding the antecedents of anti-consumption lifestyles, because these lifestyles can be used to promote sustainability (Black, 2010).
Three anti-consumption lifestyles are considered: frugality (Lastovicka et al. 1999); tightwadism (Rick, Cryder and Loewenstein 2008); and voluntary simplicity (Iwata, 1997, 1999, 2006; Zavestoski 2002). All these lifestyles result in reducing consumption. However, they are adopted for different reasons. To understand these differences, this thesis tests the model in four countries. In addition, multiple methods and multiple studies were used, to avoid falling into undesirable biases.
The pre-test, Study 1 and Study 2 use experimental design in samples of Canadian students. It was found that frugality seems to be adopted by disciplined individuals to attend to materialistic motivations. On the other hand, tightwadism seems to be adopted by disciplined individuals who wish to answer to antimaterialistic motivations. Finally, the scores on voluntary simplicity are affected by materialism alone, and not by one's self-discipline.
Study 3 tests the generalizability of the results, using a survey method on non-student samples from four countries: Canada, Brazil, India and USA. In Brazil, undisciplined individuals who score high on materialism adopt the three anti-consumption lifestyles. However, if a person is disciplined, all lifestyles are used to answer to materialistic and antimaterialistic goals. With Canadians one's self-discipline increases the scores on all anti-consumption lifestyles to answer to materialistic and antimaterialistic ambitions. However, materialism influences all lifestyles negatively in Canada. In the US and India, materialism correlates strongly with all anti-consumption lifestyles. However, for Americans the scores on all lifestyles increase to attend to materialistic goals, though it seems that this same discipline is more often used to answer to antimaterialistic goals. In India, only tightwadism increases for highly disciplined and highly materialistic individuals.
Study 4, conducted with Brazilians, examines how demographic variables affect anti-consumption lifestyles, and what is the impact of these lifestyles on account balance and balance due. In short, income has a negative impact on frugality only. In addition, it was found that all lifestyles correlate negatively with number of children. Interestingly, no lifestyle affects account balance directly, but the interaction between the antecedents provided interesting insights. Finally, only voluntary simplicity correlates negatively with balance due, whereas frugality and tightwadism do not. Also interestingly, several interaction terms showed the profile of individuals who own high debt.
The contributions of the paper are discussed at the end of each chapter. Three notable contributions should be highlighted. First, policy makers can use the findings to guide their practices while promoting consumer resistance. Second, practitioners interested on consumers who resist consumption can use the results to attract this audience. Third, this study improves current knowledge about anti-consumption, paving the way for future studies in the field.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Nepomuceno, Marcelo Vinhal
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Business Administration (Marketing specialization)
Date:24 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laroche, Michel
ID Code:974836
Deposited By:MARCELO NEPOMUCENO
Deposited On:25 Oct 2012 11:24
Last Modified:15 Nov 2012 16:40

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