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In what ways does social class and cultural capital have an impact on consumer behavior - Essay Example

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In what ways does “social class and cultural capital” have an impact on consumer behaviour? BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE In what ways does “social class and cultural capital” have an impact on consumer behaviour? Introduction Social class and cultural capital play a tremendous role in consumer behaviour, often dictating volume of purchases and the variety of purchases that an individual in society determines is acceptable to fulfil their psychological and lifestyle needs…
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Download file to see previous pages Somewhat a form of object worship, some consumers in society in higher social classes, as one example, tend to prefer the outward presentation of consumed products to reflect their social standing. Cultural capital is a bit different than social class, consisting of the values, beliefs and individual tastes that provide differentiation between one member of society and another. Oftentimes, cultural capital is not necessarily determined by social class. It is important, especially for companies attempting to market their products, to understand the social class characteristics and cultural capital of segmented members of society in order to create relevant communications and promotions that reflect these values and social hierarchies. Why is this? Oftentimes, it is the psychological premises pre-existing within consumers that determine their willingness to make purchases of generic or luxury products and marketers must align their selling practices with these values and beliefs. To better understand the level to which social class and cultural capital impact consumer behaviour, the project explores the concept of conspicuous consumption, status consumption, and also the imperatives of service quality in relation to consumption behaviour. It can be reasonably concluded that there are many disparities between social class and cultural capital, as well as changing attitudes and values associated with reference groups and their role in self-assessment that make it difficult to classify, concretely, the correlative relationship between social class and cultural capital. However, both influence consumption behaviour in their own distinct fashion. Social class and the relationship to consumption behaviour In the United Kingdom, there are five distinct social classes that are determined by occupation and income resource availability. There is the lower class which is on the lowest echelon in the social hierarchy, consisting generally of individuals making ?15,000 annually and often holding minimal educational credentials. This follows with a working class that is slightly more resource-rich than the working class, a lower middle class segment, and an upper middle class that generally holds higher-paying administrative and managerial jobs at approximately ?62,000 annually for the single household. Followed with this is an upper class that maintains high capital resources and generally a substantial educational background. Why is understanding the social hierarchy between classes important in understanding consumption behaviour? Henry (2005) performed a primary research study that involved participants from the working class and different levels of the middle class to determine what factors determined their unique or collective consumption behaviours. Henry (2005) hypothesized that class status would determine empowerment or disempowerment in consumption practices that would be impacted by economic factors and psychological impressions carried by the different classes. The findings of the study indicated that those in the working class felt highly disempowered, believing themselves to be in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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