International Journal of Consumer Studies
This study investigates the relationship between consumers' sustainable consumption behavior and both gender and generation-related individual differences in a sample of Turkish consumers. 393 participants from different generations and gender took part in the study. To measure sustainable consumption behavior, we used four-dimensional Sustainable Consumption Behavior scale. The results showed that generation is associated with unneeded consumption as a dimension of sustainable consumption behavior. Consumers who are Baby Boomers found to have the highest level of unneeded consumption behavior while Gen-Zers have fewest. Additionally, data supported the association between gender and sustainable consumption behavior. Women showed a higher level of sustainable consumption behavior both in overall behavior and tendency to reuse products. Taken together, the findings suggest that gender and generation of consumers can differentiate sustainable consumption behavior. The implications of these findings, as well as the limitations and future directions, are also discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Changes in demographics and availability of global clothing brands have brought several changes in Indian apparel industry. Green or organic clothing brands are becoming popular among Indians and likely to contribute to the revenues of apparel sector. Global and national apparel manufacturers have introduced organic clothing lines to cater to ecological conscious consumers. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence (CSII), past green behaviour, green peer influence, and green apparel knowledge on Indian youth's green apparel buying behaviour. A mix of convenience and random sampling was used for data collection. The sample (n = 981) comprised of youth of age group 18-24 years. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships. Findings suggest that past green behaviour influenced green apparel buying behaviour. Green peer influence and green apparel knowledge had no impact on green apparel buying behaviour. Moreover, CSII had no influence on green apparel buying behaviour. The findings differ from earlier studies that suggest influence of social norms and peer group had an effect on green buying behaviour. Practical implications of the present study are discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Communicating Social Support during Crises at the Farmers' Market: A Social Exchange Approach to Understanding Customer-Farmer Communal Relationships
This ethnographic research explores how the social support developed between customers and farmers at a farmers' market creates an overall culture of community support that bolsters farmers' viability during times of crisis and ensures that consumers will have access to healthy, high quality local food. This includes the ways customers provide a general culture of support for local farmers, as well as specific acts of support during times of crisis. It also examines the ways farmers support customers through specialized services and assistance with personal issues. This work draws on theory from the social support, social exchange, and social resilience literature to interpret the results. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Cultural Orientations and Environmental Sustainability in Households: A Comparative Analysis of Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites in the U.S.
This paper explores the effect of cultural orientations on the sustainable household behaviors of Hispanic immigrants and non-Hispanic Whites in the U.S. A model is tested in which the personal-level cultural orientations of interdependence-independence determine consumers' environmental value and concern, which in turn, affect sustainable behaviors (recycling, water, electricity and energy conservation). Results from a sample of 338 Hispanic immigrants and 249 non-Hispanic Whites indicate that interdependence predicts environmental values among non-Hispanic Whites. For the Hispanic sample, neither interdependence nor independence predict environmental value. In both samples, environmental value is positively associated with environmental concern, which is positively related to sustainable behaviors. The relationships between environmental concern and all four behaviors are relatively weaker among Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic Whites, suggesting that immigrants have not yet fully embraced mainstream American pro-environmental ideals and practices. Our study sheds light on cultural differences regarding environmental values and concerns, and implies theoretical and practical recommendations for marketers in the U.S. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Low socio economic stratum (SES) consumers face constrains that engender creativity as they try to solve consumption problems using the scant products and services available by repurposing such products. This research investigates mechanisms by which hope and integral emotions interact with SES to influence consumer creativity. Experiments with low and high SES participants in an emerging economy show that when hope is enhanced, positive integral emotions are directed to creativity by all consumers, but when hope is diminished, positive integral emotions are not consistently directed to creativity. SES exerts a moderating role when hope is diminished, and only high SES participants are able to cope with the absence of hope by redirecting dominance feelings to creativity. Results suggest that increasing hope among low SES consumers can enhance their creativity, and that hope can be enhanced through actions undertaken by companies and public organizations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Rethinking prices during an economic crisis: Calculation as a new mode of consumer behavior in Russia
Using qualitative data, this study explores Russians' reactions to increases in consumer prices caused by the current economic crisis. The financial turbulence has reinforced doubts about the fairness of market prices and the overall legitimacy of the market order in Russia. Suspicion and cynicism about the State and seller behavior become the main mode of price perception, encouraging proactive, calculating price behavior. Respondents' narratives reveal that proactive price behavior is considered to be a sign of social competence, financial independence, and high cognitive capacity Proactive pricing behavior allows consumers to use their purchasing power for resistance to market injustice and social insecurity and to increase personal chances for sustainability. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Food labeling is a population-based approach to health education that enables consumers to make better choices by providing information at the point of purchase. This study aimed to assess the food label usage and understanding and factors affecting them among Lebanese supermarket shoppers. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 748 supermarket shoppers in Lebanon between December 2013 and February 2014 using a pre-coded structured questionnaire. Twenty nine point three per cent of the shoppers check the food labels every time they buy a food product and 15.7% never do it. Shoppers who do not read food labels identified the long time needed in reading them as top reason (34.9%), while 9.8% answered that they do not understand them. Fifty five point four per cent of the surveyed shoppers read the food labels at the supermarkets. Forty four point four per cent of participants agreed that reading food labels is very important, while 30.3% read the food labels depending on the purchased product. Nineteen point four per cent of participants complained that food labels contain too much information and 13.8% claimed that food labels are difficult to understand. Sixty point three per cent think that food labels have helped people in changing their eating habits, while health and nutrition claims affected the product selection among 59.8% of participants. The food label knowledge score average was 63.1%. Older, obese shoppers having kids, suffering from chronic illness or allergies, following a specific diet and residing in big cities scored significantly (p<0.05) higher. The low knowledge score necessitates the nutrition education on how to read and use the food labels. Groceries would be the perfect place to reach out mass consumers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This paper explores sustainability-related choices about buildings by analyzing how consumers rated the relative importance of various attributes of conventional and green buildings. It also analyzes how consumers judge environmental and health-oriented improvements in green buildings. Unlike previous studies, this research applied conjoint analysis to explore the green building market at the consumer's level by regarding green buildings as non-durable green products and services. We used a survey to gather consumer preferences about several green building hotel models which partly applied green energy, modern wood structures, and improved indoor environmental quality (IEQ). In total, 341 consumers participated the survey in two of China's largest cities: Beijing and Shanghai. The results revealed that green energy was the most preferred attribute of green buildings, exerting an even stronger overall effect on consumer choice than price. Afterwards, we identified distinct consumer segments and determined the background characteristics of each segment based on the similarities in the preferences for each attribute. The largest consumer segment, consisting of younger consumers, ranked green energy as the most important criterion. However, an improved indoor environmental quality was generally not highly ranked, and individuals in the consumer segment, which included more older and female consumers, were more likely to reject modern wood structures. The results also revealed that higher-income individuals were most concerned with price, and consumers with higher levels of education were willing to pay more to support green buildings. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Estimating the Effects of Nutrition Label Use on Canadian Consumer Diet-Health Concerns using Propensity Score Matching
The overarching goal of nutrition labeling is to transform intrinsic credence attributes into searchable cues, which would enable consumers to make informed food choices at lower search costs. This study estimates the impact of nutrition label usage on Canadian consumers' (n=8,114) perceived diet-health concerns using alternative propensity score matching (PSM) techniques. We apply a series of tests and sensitivity analyses to overcome issues of endogeneity and selection bias frequently found in studies of diet-health behavior and to validate the impact of exposure to nutrition facts labels for users versus non-users. Our results support the notion that consumer uncertainty and related food-health concerns are linked to their information behavior, but not in straightforward manner. Dominant subjective food attributes, such as taste, convenience and affordability, may in fact outweigh the benefits of information about healthier, alternative food choices. In order to change dietary health behavior, food manufacturer and policy makers alike need to adopt communication instruments that better account for differences in preferences, shopping habits, and overall usage patterns of nutrition labeling information. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Knowing how to use and understand recipes: What arithmetical understanding is needed when students with mild intellectual disabilities use recipes in practical cooking lessons in Home Economics?
The aim of this study was to explore what arithmetical understanding is needed when students with mild intellectual disabilities use recipes during practical cooking lessons in Home Economics. The settings were compulsory schools in Sweden attended by students with intellectual disabilities. Sixteen lessons in Home Economics during which cooking took place were observed. In total, 37 students and three teachers participated. All students had a mild intellectual disability. Their ages varied, but most were between 13 and 14 years old. The sociocultural perspective on learning, combined with a literacy framework, was used as a theoretical foundation for the study. Main findings are that students need an arithmetical understanding of (i) how to interpret numbers, (ii) how to interpret and use units, and (iii) how to compute when using recipes. The knowledge and skills needed to be able to use a recipe are featured in the concept recipe literacy, capturing both theoretical, declarative knowledge and the more practical, procedural knowledge. Recipe literacy can be used to theorize the use of recipes when learning to cook, as in Home Economics.
While apparel businesses leveraging the sharing economy have begun to emerge in recent years, academic research on "sharing" consumption for apparel is extremely limited. To fill this research gap, the researchers analyze current literature to present a conceptual framework that offers a durable theoretical foundation about the concept of collaborative consumption for apparel. Using a metatheory approach, the researchers develop a framework that explores how two major Internet-supported collaborative consumption modes (utility-based non-ownership and redistributed ownership) manifest in an apparel context. Next, the researchers explore the implications of each consumption mode to understand the consumer's relationship with the product, peers, and businesses involved in these sharing schemes. A series of research propositions are also developed to stimulate discussion and future research about collaborative apparel consumption. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This study aimed to examine the neophobia, knowledge, thoughts and opinions related to food irradiation among consumers living in a small city in Brazil through the application of a behavioural and sociodemographic questionnaire. It was found that the 271 respondents had little knowledge about the process of food irradiation and had low intent to purchase irradiated food; several consumers associated irradiated food with radioactivity and cancer. Individuals with better knowledge about irradiation and those who are young, single, did not live with children, and had higher levels of education and higher monthly family incomes were more likely to buy irradiated foods than others. These results describe the profile of potential consumers of irradiated foods and the knowledge, thoughts and opinions of the residents of a small city relative to food irradiation. This data could assist industries that irradiate foods to adopt strategies that ensure greater acceptance of their products. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Food co-operatives sustainably managing common pool resources as hyper-communities as outlined by Consumer Culture Theory
This paper presents the interview results from nine managers operating in the co-operative food sector in Ontario, Canada. The interview results are framed within the context of Consumer Culture Theory to show how co-operatives can be considered hyper-communities that are built around an opposition to the current economic system's management of food as a common pool resource. The co-operative managers interviewed present a view that co-operatives act as drivers of sustainable innovation by allowing individuals to act as a group with a common interest in sustainable practices. The co-operative model provides these hyper-communities with guidance to interact with the economic system through the co-operative principles. The co-operative principles assist co-operative managers in establishing member control over the common pool resource. This paper supports the growing literature on the co-operative economy and self-governance of common pool resources for a sustainable future. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The continuing transition of the Internet from wired to mobile has facilitated changes in Internet use. By focusing on older consumers as a potentially disadvantaged group, this study examines whether smart environments have the potential to bridge the digital divide. Data were derived from an analysis of the 2013 South Korean Information Divide data set (n=2386 for those 60 years and older; n=5841 for those under 60 years). The existence of a digital divide in the smart environment was verified by comparing younger and older South Koreans; this showed that continuing consumer education is needed to enhance older people's experience and skills regarding information and in its use of communication technology. The digital divide was measured based on three aspects: accessibility, competence, and usage. In smart environments, gaps in accessibility and competence between the age groups increased whereas the gap in information usage decreased. Compared with the personal computer (PC)-based environment, members of both groups in the smart environment exhibited increased usage levels with regard to social relationship services, while the gap between the groups with regard to use of convenience services was reduced. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Household Characteristics and the Change of Financial Risk Tolerance during the Financial Crisis in the U.S.
This study examines how household financial risk tolerance is affected during the period of 2007 and 2009, which covered the eve and trough of the financial crisis in the U.S. and what types of households are associated with the change of risk tolerance. Risk tolerance is measured by two objective indicators, narrowly and broadly defined stock ownership, and a subjective indicator, risk taking attitude. Using panel data from the 2007-09 Survey of Consumer Finances, results show that during the financial crisis, the households in general are more risk averse, indicated by withdrawing from stock markets and holding a less risk taking attitude. In addition, Black and Hispanic households are more likely and households with higher education are less likely to withdraw from stock markets. Older households are less likely to change in risk tolerance during the financial crisis, as are richer households. The findings show panel data could generate novel results and contribute to the literature of financial risk tolerance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The aim of this paper is to explore social discourses in Spain on the economic crisis under the scenario of austerity policies and cutbacks. Our goal is to explore whether social perceptions have changed throughout the crisis that evolved from the collapse of the housing market bubble to a public deficit and debt problem, leading to record rates of unemployment and a dramatic decline in living standards. The long crisis has left an imprint on Spanish society and it is worthwhile exploring how Spanish citizens reflect upon the crisis. To do so, eighteen focus groups were organized in two rounds (2010 and 2014) and the results of those group conversations are discussed and compared here. Our analysis shows that the participants elaborated not only on reflections about the crisis and on how it has lowered their consumption levels, but on their further views about the social structure and change. The notorious pessimism of Spaniards about their future, regardless of their class position, is highlighted in the results. A more critical narrative about the crisis seemed to emerge in 2014, leaving behind the guilt-laden ‘living beyond our means' discourses that dominated in 2010. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Ageing and consumption in Finland: the effect of age and life course stage on ecological, economical and self-indulgent consumption among late middle-agers and young adults between 1999 and 2014
Previous studies on ageing consumers have mainly focused on chronological age and generational values or studied ageing and consumption with cross-sectional data. Few quantitative studies exist that examine the effect of age together with life course on consumption using longitudinal data. To bridge this gap, the article examines ageing and attitudes towards consumption in Finland, focusing particularly on late middle-agers (46 to 60 year-olds) in comparison to young adults (18 to 30 year-olds) between 1999 and 2014. The article explores three consumption patterns based on attitudinal statements: ecological, economical and self-indulgent consumption. Through analysis of a nationally representative survey study in Finland (N=8543), the article reveals that in all years under examination, late middle-agers reported more ecological attitudes towards consumption than young adults. In 1999 and 2004, the attitudes of late middle-agers appeared more economical, but age-related differences in economical attitudes disappeared between 2009 and 2014. In each year, late middle-agers reported less self-indulgent attitudes than young adults, and these age-related differences did not remarkably change between 1999 and 2014. The results indicate that in 1999 and 2004, ecological and economical attitudes towards consumption were best predicted by age at the year of the study. In later years, ecological attitudes were more closely determined by life course stage, i.e. household type and other socio-demographic determinants. Regarding economical attitudes, generational or cohort effects were pronounced among late middle-agers in 1999. In contrast, the significance of age remained throughout the years for self-indulgent attitudes, indicating the absence of generational or cohort effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Playing with class: Middle-class intensive mothering and the consumption of children's toys in Vietnam
This paper explores the way in which Vietnamese mothers purchase, gift and share toys with their children. The study utilises a qualitative design comprising semi-structured interviews with 10 Vietnamese middle-class professional working mothers of children aged between 5 and 9. This research highlights the way in which toys defined as ‘good' by mothers need to fulfil a number of important practical and social functions: they act as an investment in the child's future, as a reward, and as a means for mothers to buy time for themselves. The findings illustrate how these functions are influenced by Confucian and Western discourses of intensive mothering, generating a localised style of middle-class intensive mothering, characterised by what we have called the ideal of the triple excellent and intensive mother. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.