Status Spotting- A Consumer Cultural Exploration into Ordinary Status Consumption of "Home" and Home Aesthetics
Abstract: When lumping the notions of “status” and “consumption” together, people often think of expensive brands, conspicuous luxury, bling-bling and spectacular extravaganza. Not least in the case of the “home,” such associations go to Hollywood stars, spacious mansions, famous architects, swimming pools, and high-priced furniture design frenzy. But given that most people don’t have the means, and perhaps more importantly don’t want, to consume in opulent and spectacular ways, how do “ordinary” consumers compete for status through the home and home decoration? And how do they relate to the idea of status as regards their homes without making it so visible? In this book I explore the shadowy existence of status competition in ordinary (Western) consumer culture, where consumers are often said to claim status in ever more subtle ways. By interviewing urban middle-class consumers inside their homes in Sweden, Turkey, and the USA, I discover sophisticated home decoration practices, emotions, conversation techniques and narratives, which work to camouflage and disguise status concerns on one hand, and claim aspired status on the other. All in all, my findings show how status is an ever-present dimension in people’s consumption, albeit seldom admitted by consumers themselves. This is a book for consumer researchers, social and cultural critics, business managers, marketers, lifestyle commentators and—not least—for consumers themselves, who want to know more about disguised status competition, the home, and consumption that is not exactly what it appears to be.
This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.