Translating Practice Theory into Consumer Research with Coherent Research Strategies

Yoon Lee1, Amrul Asraf Mohd-Any1, Norbani Che-Ha1
1Faculty of Business and Accountancy, Universiti of Malaya, Malaysia
leeyoonh@hotmail.com, amrul_asraf@um.edu.my, norbanicheha@um.edu.my

Abstract: This article contributes to the underexplored methodological issues of translating practice theory into empirical consumer research. Practice theory conceptualises consumption as meaningful outcomes of social accomplishments which decentres the traditional influential roles of consumer emphasizes the performative dimension of the doings, saying, and material objects. Because consumers involved with practices are treated merely as "carriers", the analysis focus is shifted from consumer to consumption practice. However, practices are difficult to access, observe, measure or represent because practices are hidden, tacit, and often difficult to articulate. These challenges and specifically methodological issues of social practice theory are seldom acknowledged and addressed. This paper reviews and discusses applications and challenges of deploying practice-based theory to consumer research. Finally, the article concludes with some considerations on how the methodological approaches can assist in advancing the field of consumer consumption research in general, and the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) proposition in particular.

Keywords: Practice theory, performative, qualitative research methodology
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