Experiential and Material Consumption: a Cultural Perspective on Materialism

Michelle F. Weinberger, University of Arizona
This presentation examines the centrality of material and experiential consumption in contemporary society, and identifies cultural values undergirding this valuation. Data from depth interviews and ethnographic participant-observation is used to describe the role that experiences play for consumers of different social classes, and suggests that across status groups, consumers strategically collect experiences and objects in different ways to display cultural capital. This perspective raises questions about the difference between materialism and experientialism as currently conceived, and suggests new dimensions for evaluating the conceptual relationships among materialism, experientialism, social class, and well-being.
[ to cite ]:
Michelle F. Weinberger (2008) ,"Experiential and Material Consumption: a Cultural Perspective on Materialism", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 257-261.