Distinction within a folksy consumer culture

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: This research departs from two domains within the research field of consumer culture theory (CCT), Consumer Identity Projects and Marketplace Cultures. The goal was to add insights to the field by investigating social distinction through exploration of a context that traditionally has been characterized as being democratic and folksy. This research will study speciality coffee consumers as they differentiate their consumption practices from the dominant folksy coffee culture. The empirical material was collected through 8 in-depth interviews with 4 speciality coffee consumers and 4 speciality coffee producers. The interpretation of this research is following the methodological criteria of phenomenological interpretation i.e. the emic approach, autonomy of text and bracketing Findings from this research show consumers distinct themselves from dominant folksy consumer culture through sophisticated consumption practices in terms of knowledge,experiences and skills. Differentiation from a folksy dominant consumer culture through sophisticated consumption practices can only become possible for consumers that possess a certain level of knowledge about the actual taste and the whole process behind the refinement of the product. They need this knowledge in order to break away from traditional consumption patterns, to distinct themselves from other consumers through a common understanding of what the product is not.

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