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Fashion brands and consumption in postmodern consumer culture. The construction of self and social identities.
University of Borås, Swedish School of Textiles.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Today’s postmodern consumer culture is embedded with consumption and products are now used for their symbolic properties. Possessions have become so important for us that they have become a part of our extended selves and forms of differentiation between individuals and groups of people. The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of the role of fashion brands in the identity construction of adults. The objectives of the research focused on how an individual’s identity of self is constructed with the help of fashion brands, especially in social environments, and how an individual’s social identity is formed through fashion brands and in- and out-groups. The topic is discussed while uncovering brand symbolism and relationships. Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) was used as a theoretical framework in this research. Focus group studies were chosen as a research method and total of three focus group discussions with participants aged between 19 to 32 years were held in Helsinki, Finland. The consumption of fashion brands was found to have a relevant role in the construction of an adult’s identity. Consumption of particular fashion brands was used to communicate personalities and identities, and relationships with fashion brands were found to become especially important in social situations. Fashion brands also stand central in the formation of in- and out-groups and friends were found to have the biggest influence over consumption choices. In-groups were found to form between people with interests towards the same fashion brands and unfavourable fashion brands were associated with members of out-groups. Adults were found to categorise people into groups based on the brands they wear and prevailing stereotypical mental images. Individual self-expression through fashion brands was found high, although given the concept of a salient identity, individuals were often found to conform to the expectations of the in-group. Most importantly, individuals and in-groups stated differentiation from out-groups to be a priority.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Borås/Swedish School of Textiles , 2014.
Series
Masteruppsats ; 2014.15.02
Keywords [en]
Identity construction, social identity, fashion brands, postmodern consumer culture, consumption
National Category
Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-18045Local ID: 2320/14108OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-18045DiVA, id: diva2:1309958
Note
Program: Master programme in Fashion ManagementAvailable from: 2019-04-30 Created: 2019-04-30

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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