Individualism or emulation? Difference and choice re-examined, and the implications for the 'new' tourism

Voase, Richard (2004) Individualism or emulation? Difference and choice re-examined, and the implications for the 'new' tourism. Working Paper. Centre for Tourism & Cultural Change, Sheffield, UK.

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Abstract

Contemporary theory and practice within the discipline of Marketing is founded on the twin axioms of ‘difference’ and ‘choice’. Bodies of consumers are ‘read’ by marketeers in terms of a search for difference. Consumer behaviour is assumed to emanate from Cartesian choice. Underpinning both is an individualism assumed to permeate contemporary Western societies. A re-visitation of the work of Veblen, in particular the concept of emulation, facilitates an alternative perspective. Via a theoretical route involving theories of informational cascades, and by setting a cultural context drawing on the work of Lyotard, Baudrillard and Foucault, it is argued that consumers’ objective is the pursuit of sameness rather than difference. The homogeneities of ‘old tourism‘, and the heterogeneities of ‘new tourism’ are thus revealed to be different in form only.

Item Type:Paper or Report (Working Paper)
Additional Information:Contemporary theory and practice within the discipline of Marketing is founded on the twin axioms of ‘difference’ and ‘choice’. Bodies of consumers are ‘read’ by marketeers in terms of a search for difference. Consumer behaviour is assumed to emanate from Cartesian choice. Underpinning both is an individualism assumed to permeate contemporary Western societies. A re-visitation of the work of Veblen, in particular the concept of emulation, facilitates an alternative perspective. Via a theoretical route involving theories of informational cascades, and by setting a cultural context drawing on the work of Lyotard, Baudrillard and Foucault, it is argued that consumers’ objective is the pursuit of sameness rather than difference. The homogeneities of ‘old tourism‘, and the heterogeneities of ‘new tourism’ are thus revealed to be different in form only.
Keywords:consumerism, individualism, informational cascades, emulation, post-modernity, segmentation
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
N Business and Administrative studies > N500 Marketing
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:2364
Deposited By: Richard Voase
Deposited On:27 Apr 2010 12:11
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:23

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