Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 159–179 | Cite as

Addictive consumption: Function and fragmentation in postmodernity

  • Richard Elliott


This article reports on a study of addictive consumption in the UK. Individual depth interviews with 15 women were followed by a mail survey of a further 46 self-identified addictive shoppers. The study suggests that the behaviour serves a variety of functions for the individual and that there is no simple uniform picture of an addictive shopper. Prime functions of the behaviour are to repair mood, and to increase the ability to match perceptions of socially desirable or required appearances. The behaviour is located in the context of postmodern fragmentation, in which personal identity is manifested in a reliance on affect-charged experiences. Links are made with other aspects of consumption pathology.


Economic Policy Personal Identity Prime Function Mail Survey Depth Interview 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Suchtartiges Kaufverhalten: Funktion und postmoderne Zersplitterung Dieser Beitrag berichtet über eine Untersuchung suchtartigen Kaufverhaltens in Gro\britannien. Die Daten stammen aus Tiefeninterviews mit 15 Frauen und einer schriftlichen Erhebung bei weiteren 46 Personen, die sich selbst als kaufsüchtig bezeichnen. Die Befunde legen nahe, da\ kaufsüchtiges Verhalten einer Vielzahl von individuellen Funktionen dient und da\ es kein einheitliches Bilddes kaufsüchtigen Verbrauchers gibt. Hauptfunktionen des Verhaltens sind offenbar der Ausgleich stimmungsmä\iger Störungen und Hilfe, wenn es darum geht, wahrgenommenen sozialen Wünschen oder Anforderungen an das äu\ere Verhalten zu entsprechen. Kaufsüchtiges Verhalten wird in den Kontext postmoderne Zersplitterung gestellt, in welchem persönliche Identität sich in einem Vertrauen auf gefühlsbeladene Erfahrungen darstellt. Schlie\lich stellt der Beitrag Bezüge zu anderen Aspekten krankhaften Konsumverhaltens her, vor allem zum Ladendiebstahl.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Elliott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marketing, The Management SchoolLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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