Consumption as consummatory experience: an exploration of trade-offs and the role of value in morality in clothing consumption

Hiller, A.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8793-0013, 2016. Consumption as consummatory experience: an exploration of trade-offs and the role of value in morality in clothing consumption. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The debate around ethical consumption is often characterised by discussion of its numerous failures (Littler, 2011). Indeed, some have suggested that due to the complexity in individual trade-offs, the ethical consumer is a 'myth'. Alternatively, others have questioned the notion of the ethical consumer as 'rational maximiser', and the agency assumptions underpinning ethical consumption have been challenged through pluralist, phenomenological, identity and practice perspectives. There is a discomfort in the field, and this thesis takes 'the trade-off' as its starting point to understand how consumers attempt to navigate the 'deep moral waters' (Schwartz, 2010) of consumption in clothing purchase; a product with a history of moral controversies. Recognising the roles of both identity and practice, the concept of value for the customer is employed to explore these trade-offs, with the objectives for the research to:
• Understand the role of moral evaluation in clothing consumption practices.
• Explore the role of values in consumer trade-offs and their relationship to practice.
• Explore the roles of identity and practice in the clothing consumption practices of ethically-motivated consumers, and the implications for value evaluation.
• Investigate how ethically-committed consumers experience value in clothing consumption and to consider the implications for ethical consumption.
With an underpinning philosophical framework of pluralism, pragmatism, postmodernism and phenomenology, an in-depth study has been conducted employing phenomenological interviews and hermeneutic analysis to explore the consumption stories of a group of ethically-knowledgeable consumers. The research uncovers the location of value within a fluid, yet habitual, plurality of patterns of preferences, morals, identities and relationships. The contribution to knowledge of the thesis is to frame the roles of morality and value in consumption within a pragmatist conception of consummatory experiences; unifications of value that take place in the context of teleoaffective 'ends in view', and which continuously merge through flows of experiences and habituation.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Hiller, A.J.
Date: May 2016
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 15 Aug 2016 10:15
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:05

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