Dr Georgios Patsiaouras on trophies and Ferraris - from luxury consumption to conspicuous production.
Basing his study on in-depth interviews with middle-income English consumers, Patsiaouras shows that the participants didn’t attribute prestige on the basis of acquisition and display of luxurious brands as indicated by wealth and economic competence. Their conceptions of prestige were more grounded in what people do and achieve. Compared with previous generations attributions of social status is based less on status symbols and more on people’s creative qualities and work accomplishments.
Patsiaouras suggests that three main forces lie behind this change:
- the decline and demystification of credit cards and loans as vehicles of vicarious consumption
- rising unemployment and cuts in public spending has contributed to the demise of lavishness and extravagance.
- responsible consumption and sustainable living being seen as an antidote to overconsumption and conspicuous waste.
“From trophies to Ferraris: the development of conspicuous consumption phenomena” will be presented at the ephemera conference: on the politics of consumption in Dublin, Ireland, 9-11 May, 2012.
Georgios Patsiaouras joined the School in September 2011. His research has focused on the rather neglected work of Thorstein Veblen and this is published in the Journal of Marketing Management, Finanza, Marketing e Produzione, European Advances in Consumer Research and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing.