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
Date Written: October 31, 2002
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: Suggested Citation