Experiential and Material Consumption: a Cultural Perspective on Materialism

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.


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.


Michelle F. Weinberger, University of Arizona


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


N9. Effects of Awe on Consumers’ Preferences for Bounded Brand Logos

Fei Cao, Renmin University of China
Xia Wang, Renmin University of China

Read More


Pangs from Persuasion: When Recommendations Undermine Consumers’ Social Worth

Suzanne Galia Rath, Queens University, Canada
Laurence Ashworth, Queens University, Canada
Nicole Robitaille, Queens University, Canada

Read More


Scope Insensitivity in Debt Repayment

Daniel Mochon, Tulane University, USA
Nina Mazar, Boston University, USA
Dan Ariely, Duke University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.