The Fire of Desire: A Multisited Inquiry into Consumer Passion

University of Utah Marketing Working Paper No. 02-31

68 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2003

See all articles by Russell W. Belk

Russell W. Belk

Schulich School of Business, York University

Güliz Ger

Bilkent University - Management

Søren Askegaard

SDU Odense University - Marketing

Date Written: October 31, 2002

Abstract

Desire is the motivating force behind much of contemporary consumption. Yet, consumer research has devoted little specific attention to passionate and fanciful consumer desire. This paper is grounded in consumers' everyday experiences of longing for and fantasizing about particular goods. Based on journals, interviews, projective data, and inquiries into daily discourses in three cultures (the U.S., Turkey, and Denmark), we develop a phenomenological account of desire. We find that desire is regarded as a powerful cyclic emotion that is both discomforting and pleasurable. Desire for desire, hope for hope, self-seduction, and tensions between seduction and morality are the forces that we find underlie desire and its pursuit. We discuss theoretical implications of these processes for consumer research.

Keywords: Desire, needs, wants, passion, consumption, consumer behavior

JEL Classification: D10

Suggested Citation

Belk, Russell W. and Ger, Güliz and Askegaard, Søren, The Fire of Desire: A Multisited Inquiry into Consumer Passion (October 31, 2002). University of Utah Marketing Working Paper No. 02-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=354640 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.354640

Russell W. Belk (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Business, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Güliz Ger

Bilkent University - Management ( email )

06533 Bilkent, Ankara
Turkey
90 312 290 1253 (Phone)

Søren Askegaard

SDU Odense University - Marketing ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense M
Denmark
+45 65503255 (Phone)
+45 66155129 (Fax)

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