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How Consumers Consume: A Typology of Consumption Practices


  • Holt, Douglas B


This article examines what people do when they consume. In recent interpretive consumer research, three research streams have emerged, each portraying how people consume through a distinctive metaphor: consuming as experience, consuming as integration, and consuming as classification. The research reported here - a two-year observational case study of baseball spectators in Chicago's Wrigley Field bleachers - builds on this literature to systematically detail the universe of actions that constitute consuming. The resulting topology refines, extends, and synthesizes the three existing approaches to consuming and adds a fourth dimension - consuming as play - to yield a comprehensive vocabulary for describing how consumers consume. The usefulness of the topology is demonstrated by applying it to develop an alternative conception of materialism as a style of consuming. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Holt, Douglas B, 1995. " How Consumers Consume: A Typology of Consumption Practices," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:22:y:1995:i:1:p:1-16

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