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In: Business and Management

Submitted By ak644
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Understanding Consumption in Context

Why am I obsessed with the consumption of toiletries and personal grooming products?

It was September ‘08 when I first came to the UK. I remember walking down the high street. I had to buy basic care, so someone suggested that I go to the Boots store. It wasn’t that easy because when I entered the store I was surprised to see the huge collection of healthcare and grooming products. I was extremely excited. Just like a kid in a candy store I went around the store more than twice. There was something in all the sections that seemed like as if were made especially for me. Eventually, I ended up purchasing a lot more than I wanted in the first place. This was just a beginning, now that I know, to what has become my obsession to use these grooming and healthcare products.
Shopping for healthcare and grooming products in India is a completely different experience to what it is in the United Kingdom. There are not any dedicated stores for healthcare products such as Boots, Super Drug. The differences in such consumption patterns can be better understood through the concept of Sociohistoric Patterning of Consumption, which suggests that the institutional and social structures systematically influence consumption, such as class, community, ethnicity, and gender.

I had never seen, until then, a store with such collection of healthcare products. It was a totally new experience for me. Maybe it was also the reason because of my excitement. As evident in Thornton’s studies, experiential consumption activities foster collective identifications grounded in shared beliefs, meanings, mythologies, rituals, social practices, and status systems. (Thornton 1996.)

Also supporting my eventual habitual consumption pattern, of consuming healthcare and grooming products, is Maffesoli’s (1996) ideas on...

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