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dc.contributor.advisorFerguson, Shelagh
dc.contributor.advisorKnight, John
dc.contributor.authorAbarashi, Jamal
dc.identifier.citationAbarashi, J. (2017). Materials Matter: How Non-human Actors Shape Consumption Practices and Experiences in Consumption Communities (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates the role and agency of materiality in a consumption community through adopting a consumer culture theory (CCT) perspective. Prior research in consumer culture tradition has explored consumption communities through focusing on consumers and producers. The role of consumers in consumption communities has been examined in relation to value co-creation and innovation processes (Brodie et al., 2013; Laroche et al., 2012; Schau et al., 2009) and concept of power as communal resistance (Dalli 2008; Goulding and Saren 2009; Muñiz and Schau 2005). Research has also revealed the role of producers as suppliers of community resources and demonstrates how brands can link networks of consumers (Cova 1997; Cova and Cova 2002; Diamond et al. 2009). However, little is known about the role and agency of materiality in formation and maintenance of consumption communities. Despite recognising the role of materials and non-human actors in consumption communities, there is a lack of insight and theoretical understanding about how they interplay with consumers and in turn influence the dynamic of consumption communities. This thesis seeks to address this gap by examining the interplay between consumers and resources in the community of bag lovers, and attempts to understand the role and agency of materiality in maintaining and shaping community practices and dynamics. Research is conducted by adopting a multi-method qualitative research approach consisting of two stages: a netnography approach (Kozinets 2015) followed by online/offline unstructured interviews. Observatory and participatory capabilities of the netnographic methodology is utilised to capture relations and interactions among actors in the bag lovers’ community. Furthermore, to recognise and explore material and relational aspects of the community, this thesis has adopted Actor-network Theory (ANT) as a lens for exploring dynamics of the bag lovers’ community. This research brings to light the role and agency of materiality in the bag lovers’ community and enables us to better understand the nature and dynamics of consumption communities. It reveals a process of multiple translations that conceptualises the role and agency of non-human actors in stabilising the community. This process consists of three stages including the tendency to pool, the emergence of pooling practices, and the advent of rental services. Each of these stages unpacks the mechanism and logic underpinning consumers’ interaction with non-human actors, and enunciates the agency of materials in shaping community interactions and practices. In the broader consumer research literature, these findings expand our understanding of resource circulation and redistribution, and pooling practices.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectConsumer community
dc.subjectConsumer culture
dc.subjectConsumer desire
dc.titleMaterials Matter: How Non-human Actors Shape Consumption Practices and Experiences in Consumption Communities
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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