Be/Longings:Consumption and Flow

Whilst most consumers shop for belongings, many also have longings to shop, irrespective of any material gain. This paper explores the reasons why some consumers describe their shopping experiences as a “buzz” or a “high” or sheer escapism. The findings from ongoing interpretive research conducted by the authors into shopping behaviour and the role of shopping in people’s lives are examined here in the light of Csikszentmihalyi’s (1988) model of ‘flow’. The authors contend that the ‘flow’ model is appropriate for furthering our understanding both of consumer behaviour and the role and meaning of consumption in the 21st Century in the light of the subjectivity of the postmodern consumer with whom postmodern marketing (Brown, 1995) must deal.


Helen Woodruffe-Burton, Sue Eccles, and Elliott Richard (2005) ,"Be/Longings:Consumption and Flow", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 471-476.


Helen Woodruffe-Burton, Lancaster University Management School
Sue Eccles, Lancaster University Management School
Elliott Richard, Warwick Business School


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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