The Social Construction of Consumer Needs: a Case Analysis of the “Healing Boom” in Japan

Takeshi Matsui, Hitotsubashi University, Japan and Princeton University, USA
This paper examines the healing boom, the largest consumer culture in Japan at the turn of the century. Since the late 1990s, many firms in various industries, triggered by media that reported the boom, launched a large number of ``healing’’ products and services. It prompted cognitive institutionalization, which means that people now take consuming them for granted. Content analysis of 5,371 newspaper articles and 8,038 titles of magazine articles from 1982 to 2007 indicates that consumers’ needs for healing are socially constructed by media discourse and the imitative behavior of firms.
[ to cite ]:
Takeshi Matsui (2009) ,"The Social Construction of Consumer Needs: a Case Analysis of the “Healing Boom” in Japan", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 581-581.