Culture of consumption of car afficionados: aesthetics and consumption communities

D. Brownlie, P.A. Hewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the virtual consumption communities which cohere around the object of the car. Focusing upon the cultural practice of debadging, the paper intends to reveal forms of connectivity and resistance within communities of car customization. Design/methodology/approach - A netnography in the form of non-participant observation is used to explore the talk of car aficionados around issues of customization and affiliation. Findings - The paper discusses the importance of internet discussion boards as forums for the exchange of information and advice, but also as a site to express their passion for cars and their affiliation with like-minded others. The research reveals that the question of aesthetics is a significant one for car aficionados. This enables us to theorize such consumers as akin to designers for whom the discussion boards exist as key reference points. Research limitations/implications - This is an exploratory study and its primary limitation is one of scope and method. Netnography provides access to web-based communication. In this sense, a novel channel of access to new forms of expression and ways of doing social relations is employed. Clearly, the insights generated from this study are mediated by the character of the empirical site and the limits of non-participatory netnography. Originality/value - The originality of the paper resides in its attempt to theorize the significance of the cultural practice of debadging as a key constituent in community-formation.
LanguageEnglish
Pages106-119
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Volume27
Issue number3/4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Fingerprint

aesthetics
community
Social Relations
Internet
communication
methodology
Car
Values
Netnography
Customization
Cultural practices

Keywords

  • cars
  • consumerism
  • consumption

Cite this

@article{5d871a05d31d489aaa1e374a455176c7,
title = "Culture of consumption of car afficionados: aesthetics and consumption communities",
abstract = "The purpose of this paper is to explore the virtual consumption communities which cohere around the object of the car. Focusing upon the cultural practice of debadging, the paper intends to reveal forms of connectivity and resistance within communities of car customization. Design/methodology/approach - A netnography in the form of non-participant observation is used to explore the talk of car aficionados around issues of customization and affiliation. Findings - The paper discusses the importance of internet discussion boards as forums for the exchange of information and advice, but also as a site to express their passion for cars and their affiliation with like-minded others. The research reveals that the question of aesthetics is a significant one for car aficionados. This enables us to theorize such consumers as akin to designers for whom the discussion boards exist as key reference points. Research limitations/implications - This is an exploratory study and its primary limitation is one of scope and method. Netnography provides access to web-based communication. In this sense, a novel channel of access to new forms of expression and ways of doing social relations is employed. Clearly, the insights generated from this study are mediated by the character of the empirical site and the limits of non-participatory netnography. Originality/value - The originality of the paper resides in its attempt to theorize the significance of the cultural practice of debadging as a key constituent in community-formation.",
keywords = "cars, consumerism, consumption",
author = "D. Brownlie and P.A. Hewer",
year = "2007",
doi = "10.1108/01443330710741057",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "106--119",
journal = "International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy",
issn = "0144-333X",
publisher = "Emerald Publishing Limited",
number = "3/4",

}

Culture of consumption of car afficionados: aesthetics and consumption communities. / Brownlie, D.; Hewer, P.A.

In: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 27, No. 3/4, 2007, p. 106-119.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Culture of consumption of car afficionados: aesthetics and consumption communities

AU - Brownlie, D.

AU - Hewer, P.A.

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - The purpose of this paper is to explore the virtual consumption communities which cohere around the object of the car. Focusing upon the cultural practice of debadging, the paper intends to reveal forms of connectivity and resistance within communities of car customization. Design/methodology/approach - A netnography in the form of non-participant observation is used to explore the talk of car aficionados around issues of customization and affiliation. Findings - The paper discusses the importance of internet discussion boards as forums for the exchange of information and advice, but also as a site to express their passion for cars and their affiliation with like-minded others. The research reveals that the question of aesthetics is a significant one for car aficionados. This enables us to theorize such consumers as akin to designers for whom the discussion boards exist as key reference points. Research limitations/implications - This is an exploratory study and its primary limitation is one of scope and method. Netnography provides access to web-based communication. In this sense, a novel channel of access to new forms of expression and ways of doing social relations is employed. Clearly, the insights generated from this study are mediated by the character of the empirical site and the limits of non-participatory netnography. Originality/value - The originality of the paper resides in its attempt to theorize the significance of the cultural practice of debadging as a key constituent in community-formation.

AB - The purpose of this paper is to explore the virtual consumption communities which cohere around the object of the car. Focusing upon the cultural practice of debadging, the paper intends to reveal forms of connectivity and resistance within communities of car customization. Design/methodology/approach - A netnography in the form of non-participant observation is used to explore the talk of car aficionados around issues of customization and affiliation. Findings - The paper discusses the importance of internet discussion boards as forums for the exchange of information and advice, but also as a site to express their passion for cars and their affiliation with like-minded others. The research reveals that the question of aesthetics is a significant one for car aficionados. This enables us to theorize such consumers as akin to designers for whom the discussion boards exist as key reference points. Research limitations/implications - This is an exploratory study and its primary limitation is one of scope and method. Netnography provides access to web-based communication. In this sense, a novel channel of access to new forms of expression and ways of doing social relations is employed. Clearly, the insights generated from this study are mediated by the character of the empirical site and the limits of non-participatory netnography. Originality/value - The originality of the paper resides in its attempt to theorize the significance of the cultural practice of debadging as a key constituent in community-formation.

KW - cars

KW - consumerism

KW - consumption

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01443330710741057

U2 - 10.1108/01443330710741057

DO - 10.1108/01443330710741057

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 106

EP - 119

JO - International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

T2 - International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

JF - International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

SN - 0144-333X

IS - 3/4

ER -