Exploring Consumer Fanaticism: Extraordinary Devotion in the Consumption Context

Emily Chung, University of Melbourne, Australia
Michael Beverland, University of Melbourne, Australia
Francis Farrelly, Monash University, Australia
Pascale Quester, University of Adelaide, Australia
This paper explores the phenomenon of fanaticism through qualitative in-depth interviews to learn about the characteristics associated with extraordinary devotion to consumptive objects. Findings showed inertial (addictive and obsessive-compulsive) elements associated with fanaticism, however, contrary to common portrayals, this is not always detrimental to the individual. It also showed that fanaticism involves managing the fine line between extreme levels of enthusiasm that is positive and fulfilling, versus non-sustainable borderline-dysfunctional levels of enthusiasm that may turn into something darker or problematic.
[ to cite ]:
Emily Chung, Michael Beverland, Francis Farrelly, and Pascale Quester (2008) ,"Exploring Consumer Fanaticism: Extraordinary Devotion in the Consumption Context", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 333-340.