Social Stratification and Luxury Consumption Value: Classifying Complaint Types of Korean Luxury Consumers

Su Yeon Kim, Yonsei University, South Korea
Ae-Ran Koh, Yonsei University, South Korea
The purpose of this ethnographic study is to explore Korean luxury consumers’ hidden and fundamental complaining intentions, which were constructed by socially symbolic luxury consumption values based on the hierarchically divided social contexts. To allocate individual consumers by stratus, the researcher originated 2X2 matrix utilizing the distinctive 2 levels of economic and cultural capital, that Bourdiue(1986) articulated as the major basis of social classes. Observations and in-depth interviews with twenty-four cases of Korean luxury clothing complainers were carried out from March, 2010 to June, 2011. The classified 4 groups were named as (1) ‘high class elite’, (2) ‘parvenus’ (3) ‘low income cultural elite’, and (4) ‘low class luxury seeker’. Complaint motivations influenced by their luxury consumption values were characterized repectively as(1) uniqueness of design, special services, (2) social recognitions, (3) design-related dissatisfaction, (4) exchange, refunds, and compensations. Complaint types of 4 groups were determined by their motivations, and classified as (1) expressing their opinion mildly on their ways to shop (2) direct aggressive voice complaint (3) complaint with preparations, taking plans to do actions, (4) website posting, negative word of mouth, and sabotage.
[ to cite ]:
Su Yeon Kim and Ae-Ran Koh (2011) ,"Social Stratification and Luxury Consumption Value: Classifying Complaint Types of Korean Luxury Consumers", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 803-804.