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Chapter 5 The Self. By Michael R. Solomon. Consumer Behavior Buying, Having, and Being Sixth Edition. Opening Vignette: Lisa. What depresses Lisa about the magazine models? Lisa feels that women don’t look like models in “real life.” Do you agree?

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chapter 5 the self

Chapter 5The Self

By Michael R. Solomon

Consumer Behavior

Buying, Having, and Being

Sixth Edition

opening vignette lisa
Opening Vignette: Lisa
  • What depresses Lisa about the magazine models?
  • Lisa feels that women don’t look like models in “real life.” Do you agree?
  • If Lisa doesn’t consider herself unattractive, why does she consider cosmetic surgery?
  • Does Lisa want to improve herself for Eric or herself?
perspectives on the self
Perspectives on the Self
  • Does the Self Exist?
    • 1980’s called the “Me Decade”
    • March 7th designated “Self Day” by Self magazine
    • Western societies emphasize uniqueness of self.
    • Collective self: Eastern culture’s belief that a person’s identity is derived from his or her social group.
    • Mien-Tzu (face): Confucian belief that reputation is achieved through success and ostentation
self concept
Self Concept
  • Self Concept:
    • The beliefs a person holds about his or her own attributes and how he or she evaluates these qualities
  • Dimensions of the Attributes of Self Concept:
    • Content
    • Positivity
    • Intensity
    • Accuracy
  • Consumer perceptions of self can be quite distorted, particularly with regard to their physical appearance.
self esteem
  • Self-esteem:
    • Refers to the positivity of a person’s self-concept.
  • Social Comparison:
    • A process by which consumers evaluate themselves by comparing themselves with others (particularly comparisons with idealized images of people in advertising)
  • Self-esteem Advertising:
    • Attempts to change product attitudes by stimulating positive feelings about the self.
real and idealized selves
Real and Idealized Selves
  • Ideal Self:
    • A person’s conception of how he or she would like to be
    • Partially molded by elements of a consumer’s culture
  • Actual Self:
    • A person’s realistic appraisal of the qualities he or she does and does not possess
  • Fantasy: Bridging the Gap between the Selves:
    • Fantasy: A self-induced shift in consciousness
    • Fantasy appeals: Marketing communications aimed at individuals with a large discrepancy between their real and ideal selves
multiple selves
Multiple Selves
  • Role Identities:
    • Different components of the self
  • Symbolic Interactionism:
    • Stresses that relationships with other people play a large part in forming the self
    • Self-fulfilling prophecy: By acting the way we assume others expect us to act, we wind up confirming these perceptions
  • The Looking-Glass Self:
    • The process of imagining the reactions of others toward us
self consciousness
  • Self-Consciousness:
    • A painful awareness of oneself magnified by the belief that others are intently watching.
  • Public Self-Consciousness:
    • A heightened concern about the nature of one’s public “image”
    • Results in more concern about the appropriateness of products and consumption activities
  • Self Monitoring:
    • Awareness of how one presents oneself in a social environment
consumption and self concept
Consumption and Self-Concept
  • Products that Shape the Self: You are What you Consume:
    • People use an individual’s consumption behaviors to help them make judgments about that person’s social identity.
    • Symbolic self-completion theory: People who have an incomplete self-definition tend to complete this identity by acquiring and displaying symbols associated with it.
  • Self/Product Congruence:
    • Consumers demonstrate consistency between their values and the things they buy.
    • Self-image congruence models: Products will be chosen when their attributes match some aspect of the self.
the extended self
The Extended Self
  • Extended Self:
    • External objects that consumers consider a part of themselves
  • Four Levels of the Extended Self:
    • (1) Individual Level: Personal possessions
    • (2) Family Level: Residence and furnishings
    • (3) Community Level: Neighborhood or town one is from
    • (4) Group Level: Social groups
    • A consumer may also feel that landmarks, monuments, or sports teams are part of the extended self.
advertisements extending the self
Advertisements Extending the Self
  • This Italian ad demonstrates that our favorite products are part of the extended self.
discussion question
Discussion Question
  • Some consumers feel that a sports team is part of the extended self. At they celebrate fanaticism toward the Tennessee Titans football team.
  • How does affiliation with a sports team affect self perceptions? What other affiliations are part of the extended self?
sex roles
Sex Roles
  • Sex Identity:
    • An important component of a consumer’s self concept
  • Gender Differences in Socialization:
    • Agentic goals (Males): Stress self assertion and mastery
    • Communal goals (Females): Stress affiliation and fostering of harmonious relations
satirical ad of exploitation
Satirical Ad of Exploitation
  • This French shoe ad pokes fun at ads that demean women by proclaiming: “No woman’s body was exploited in the making of this advertisement.”
sex roles cont
Sex Roles (cont.)
  • Gender Versus Sexual Identity:
    • Sex-Typed Traits: Characteristics stereotypically associated with gender
  • Sex-Typed Products:
    • Many products are sex-typed (i.e., they take on masculine or feminine attributes and are associated with gender)
  • Androgyny:
    • Refers to the possession of both masculine and feminine traits
    • Sex-typed people: Stereotypically masculine or feminine
    • Androgynous people: Mixed gender characteristics
culturally bound sex roles
Culturally Bound Sex Roles
  • This ad for Bijan illustrates how sex-role identities are culturally bound by contrasting the expectations of how women should appear in two different countries.
sex roles conc
Sex Roles (conc.)
  • Female Sex Roles:
    • Female sex roles are still evolving
  • Male Sex Roles:
    • Masculinism: The study of the male image and the cultural meanings of masculinity
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Consumers:
    • GLBT population is an attractive segment to marketers
    • The 1990’s saw big corporations actively court this market segment
reinforcing gender stereotypes
Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes
  • This ad rebels somewhat against “political correctness” by reinforcing gender stereotypes.
targeting glbt consumers
Targeting GLBT Consumers
  • This ad for Alize, a cognac drink, is geared toward lesbians.
body image
Body Image
  • Body Image:
    • Refers to a consumer’s subjective evaluation of his or her physical self
  • Body Cathexis:
    • A person’s feelings about his or her body
  • Ideal of Beauty:
    • A particular model, or exemplar, of appearance
ideals of beauty
Ideals of Beauty
  • Is Beauty Universal?
    • Men are attracted to an hourglass shape
    • Women prefer men with a heavy lower face, above-average height, and a prominent brow
  • The Western Ideal:
    • Big round eyes, tiny waists, large breasts, blond hair, and blue eyes
  • Ideals of Beauty over Time:
    • Periods of history tend to be characterized by a specific “look”
    • Sexual dimorphic markers: Aspects of the body that distinguish between the sexes
beauty ideals in the 1950 s
Beauty Ideals in the 1950’s
  • This 1951 bathing beauty exemplified an ideal of American femininity at that time.
working on the body
Working on the Body
  • Fattism:
    • Our society is obsessed with weight
  • Body Image Distortions:
    • Women’s ideal figure is much thinner than their actual figure
    • Anorexia: Starving oneself in a quest for thinness
    • Bulimia: Binge eating followed by purging (vomiting, laxatives, fasting, or over-exercising)
    • Body dysmorphic disorder: An obsession with perceived flaws in appearance
unrealistic body shape expectations
Unrealistic Body Shape Expectations
  • This ad for an online weight-loss site drives home the idea that the media often communicate unrealistic expectations about body shape.
discussion question27
Discussion Question
  • In this advertisement, it is insinuated that this model’s physique was achieved partially through drinking milk. (Notice that the model is so thin you can see her ribs.)
  • Is her physique really ideal? What kind of distorted message is this sending to young girls about body image?
cultural emphasis on thinness
Cultural Emphasis on Thinness
  • Society’s emphasis on thinness makes many consumers insecure about their body image. This South American ad promises, “You’ll never have to go to the beach in a T-Shirt again.”
working on the body cont
Working on the Body (cont.)
  • Cosmetic Surgery:
    • Consumers are increasing electing to have cosmetic surgery to change a poor body image or enhance appearance.
    • Men are increasingly having cosmetic surgery too.
  • Breast Augmentation:
    • Our culture tends to equate breast size with sex appeal.
    • Some women have breast augmentation procedures because they feel larger breasts will increase their allure.
body decoration and mutilation
Body Decoration and Mutilation
  • Purpose of Decorating the Self:
    • To separate group members from nonmembers
    • To place the individual in the social organization
    • To place the person in a gender category
    • To enhance sex-role identification
    • To indicate desired social conduct
    • To indicate high status or rank
    • To provide a sense of security
  • Tattoos
  • Body Piercing
body piercing
Body Piercing
  • Body piercing has practically become a mainstream fashion statement.
  • Tattooing is becoming mainstream. This Spanish ad for Nike tennis products says, “Rest in heaven, not on the court.”