Symbolic Consumption and Alternative Signals of Status
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CitationBellezza, Silvia. 2015. Symbolic Consumption and Alternative Signals of Status. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Business School.
AbstractMy dissertation is composed of three papers on symbolic consumption–how consumers use products, brands, and time to express who they are and signal status. The first paper (Brand Tourists: How Non–Core Users Enhance the Brand Image by Eliciting Pride) demonstrates the positive impact of non-core users of a prestige brand perceived as “brand tourists” into the brand community. The second paper (The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity) investigates the conditions under which nonconforming behaviors, such as wearing red sneakers in a professional setting, can act as a particular form of conspicuous consumption and lead to positive inferences of status and competence in the eyes of others. The third paper (Conspicuous Consumption of Time: When Busyness and Lack of Leisure Time Become a Status Symbol) further extends this line of investigation on alternative signals of status by uncovering the role of long hours of work and lack of leisure time as a status symbol. I conclude with a discussion of current working papers and future research agenda on symbolic consumption and branding.
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