Close knit: using consumption communities to overcome loneliness

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dc.contributor.author OSullivan, Máire
dc.contributor.author Richardson, Brendan
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-01T07:33:00Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-01T07:33:00Z
dc.date.issued 2020-07-16
dc.identifier.citation O Sullivan, M. and Richardson, B. (2020) 'Close knit: using consumption communities to overcome loneliness', European Journal of Marketing. doi: 10.1108/EJM-02-2019-0145 en
dc.identifier.issn 0309-0566
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/10421
dc.identifier.doi 10.1108/EJM-02-2019-0145 en
dc.description.abstract Purpose: This paper aims to highlight the role of consumption communities as a self-help support group to ameliorate loneliness. The authors suggest that the self-help element of consumption communities has been overlooked because of a focus on communities pursuing hegemonic masculinity. Instead, the authors focus on a female-led and – dominated consumption community. Design/methodology/approach: A longitudinal ethnography was undertaken with the aim of understanding consumer behaviour in a “hyper-feminine” environment. Participant observation, depth interviews and netnography were carried out over five years within the Knitting community, focussing on an Irish Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group. Findings: A dimension of consumption communities has been overlooked in the extant literature; this female-led and -dominated community functions as a self-help support group used as a “treatment” for loneliness. It also demonstrates all the characteristics of a support group. Research limitations/implications: This study offers a framework with which new studies of community consumption can be examined or existing studies can be re-examined, through rather than cases of loneliness and self-help support groups. Practical implications: Marketers have an opportunity to build supportive consumption communities that provide a safe space for support where commerce and brand-building can also occur. Groups aimed at ameliorating loneliness may wish to consider integration of the consumption community model. Originality/value: Calls have been made for a reconceptualisation of consumption communities as current typologies seem inadequate. This paper responds with a critical examination through the lens of the self-help support group, while also taking steps towards resolving the gender imbalance in the consumption community literature. The paper explores loneliness, a previously underexamined motivator for consumption community membership. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Emerald Publishing Limited en
dc.rights © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. All rights reserved. en
dc.subject Consumer identity en
dc.subject Consumption communities en
dc.subject Loneliness en
dc.subject Self-help en
dc.subject Social support en
dc.title Close knit: using consumption communities to overcome loneliness en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Brendan Richardson (deceased), formerly Department of Management and Marketing, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. T: +353-21-490-3000 en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2020-08-31T12:05:49Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 526999652
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle European Journal of Marketing en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.bibliocheck In press. Check vol / issue / page range. Amend citation as necessary. en


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