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Adventures, auctions and aspirations: Illuminating shifts, tensions and contradictions in consumers' leisure shopping experiences

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Drawing upon the work of Simmel ([1907–1911] 1971) and other socioculturally oriented theoreticians (e.g. Campbell 1987; Thompson et al. 1994), this paper illuminates the composite and dynamic character of leisure shopping. Using three overarching themes – the adventure, the auction and the aspiration – the paper illustrates that leisure shopping experiences comprise a synthesis of opposites, involving dynamic shifts between for example spontaneity and control, delight and disappointment, dreams and fantasies as well as rational calculations and purposive planning. Leisure shopping is thus described as a form of rational recreation (Lash and Urry 2002), where consumers seek pleasure in highly rationalized ways.

Keywords: consumer culture; hedonic value; leisure shopping experiences; retailing; utilitarian value

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Service Management,Lund University, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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