Conspicuous Consumption in Relation to Self-Esteem, Self-Image and Social Status: An Empirical Study

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


The term conspicuous consumption has been used to explain the anticipation of expressing one’s status and/or identity, via symbolic and visible consumption beyond economical or physical benefits of goods. Social function of consumption is generally associated with status, wealth and group affiliation, while psychological approach links consumption to construction of the “self”. Consumption, in this sense, is means of both extinguishing one’s self and relating himself with entities. Though conspicuous consumption studies have a substantial background, it is not adequately explored in the context of self and status interaction. The purpose of this study is to explain conspicuous consumption in relation to self-esteem, self-image congruity and social status display concerning the mediating effects of factors.

The sample consists of 463 students from different units of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. Research data is gathered using 5-point Likert questionnaire with convenience sampling method, and structural equation modelling is used to test the hypothesis. Results support that self-esteem is negatively related to conspicuous consumption, by causing more of the mediators, self-image congruity and social status display. Also self-image congruity is related to social status display and they are both positively related to conspicuous consumption. Social status display partially mediates the relationship between self-image congruity and conspicuous consumption. This supports the understanding that consuming symbols is related to construction of the self, or the need for, and social contexts play a significant role concurrently.


Conspicuous consumption Social status display Self-image congruity Self-esteem Young consumers 



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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Graduate School of Social SciencesÇanakkaleTurkey

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