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

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.


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.


Takeshi Matsui, Hitotsubashi University, Japan and Princeton University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Toward Optimal Symbolic Recovery: Why and When “Thank you” is Better than “Sorry” in Addressing Service Delays

Yanfen You, New Mexico State University, USA
Xiaojing Yang, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, USA
Lili Wang, Zhejiang University
Xiaoyan Deng, Ohio State University, USA

Read More


How Categories Transform Markets through Non-Collective, Non-Strategic Collaboration

Pierre-Yann Dolbec, Concordia University, Canada
Shanze Khan, Concordia University, Canada

Read More


Perceptions of Epistemic vs. Aleatory Uncertainty Affect Stock Investment

Daniel Walters, INSEAD, France
Gulden Ulkumen, University of Southern California, USA
Carsten Erner, FS Card
David Tannebaum, University of Utah, USA
Craig Fox, University of California Los Angeles, 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.