Article

Therapeutic Servicescapes and Market-Mediated Performances of Emotional Suffering

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Abstract

We introduce the concept of therapeutic servicescapes, defined as consumption settings where emplaced, market-mediated performances compensate for sociocultural dilemmas. Our focus is on the localization of emotions that are emplaced in specific sociospatial features and collectively reproduced through ritualized consumer performances. This ethnographic study of religious pilgrimage consumption reveals that the therapeutic servicescape comprises three features: evocative spaces, ideological homogeneity, and restorative emotion scripts. These servicescape features catalyze the consumer rituals of therapeutic relations, therapeutic release, and therapeutic renewal. Our theorization of therapeutic servicescapes offers three contributions. First, we reveal how emotions are socially and geographically orchestrated and transformed in marketplace settings. Second, we demonstrate how therapeutic ritual performances reproduce emplaced, marketmediated emotion and compensate for embodied emotional restrictions. Third, we demonstrate how the negotiation of emotional ordering guides the therapeutic dialogue between religion and the marketplace. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. All rights reserved.

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... Literature, however, explained the motivations behind the consumption of the spiritual (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019a;Moufahim & Lichrou, 2019;Higgins & Hamilton, 2019). Spiritual consumers (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019a) tend to overcome some extraordinary experiences as part of their traditions and as an authenticity practice (Mouhfaim & Lichrou, 2019), as a family practice that unite relatives (Higgins & Hamilton, 2014), or even as a therapeutic servicescape to compensate sociocultural dilemmas (Higgins & Hamilton, 2019). ...
... Literature, however, explained the motivations behind the consumption of the spiritual (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019a;Moufahim & Lichrou, 2019;Higgins & Hamilton, 2019). Spiritual consumers (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019a) tend to overcome some extraordinary experiences as part of their traditions and as an authenticity practice (Mouhfaim & Lichrou, 2019), as a family practice that unite relatives (Higgins & Hamilton, 2014), or even as a therapeutic servicescape to compensate sociocultural dilemmas (Higgins & Hamilton, 2019). ...
... We build on Higgins and Hamilton's (2019) idea to understand such dilemmas. ...
Thesis
This dissertation is concentrated in the intersection between the commercial and the spiritual to understand how spiritual experiences are lived by consumers. We are aligned with the recently constituted field of Consumer Spirituality (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019a, p. 393) that considers the "practices and processes engaged in when consuming market offerings (products, services, places) that yield 'spiritual utility'". Through an interpretive ethnographic approach in four Catholic pilgrimage sites in Latin America and Europe, this research reveals the patterns and differences of the spiritual consumption between and across each case studied. The findings highlight 12 themes emerged from the analysis that are related to the tensions andagreements between the spiritual and the commercial, the collective and individualized experience of pilgrims, the consumption of the spiritual as coping strategy do deal with mundane problems, the embodied and material consumption of the pilgrimage, and also issues related to accessibility,sustainability and over consumption in pilgrimage settings. This doctoral research therefore contributes to the literature on the marketization of the sacred, coping mechanisms, embodiment, materiality and other societal issues.
... Motives for lone consumption in coffee shops may include participation in individualistic consumption culture, as demonstrated in public urban cultures (Shaker and Rath, 2019;Shaker Ardekani and Rath, 2020), expression of self as connoisseur (Manzo, 2014;Quintão et al., 2017) or a reaction to sociocultural challenges (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Lalli, 1992). We situate our study in relation to speciality coffee shops, an environment in which the consumer both experiences and contributes to coffee sociality (Bookman, 2014;Manzo, 2010Manzo, , 2014Shaker and Rath, 2019); their presence means that they are part of a social construction -the coffee shop community -thus elevating and extending the experience from 'having a coffee' to that of enabling self-expression and connection through consumption, resulting in calm, pleasant and even rejuvenating experiences (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Walsh et al., 2011). ...
... Motives for lone consumption in coffee shops may include participation in individualistic consumption culture, as demonstrated in public urban cultures (Shaker and Rath, 2019;Shaker Ardekani and Rath, 2020), expression of self as connoisseur (Manzo, 2014;Quintão et al., 2017) or a reaction to sociocultural challenges (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Lalli, 1992). We situate our study in relation to speciality coffee shops, an environment in which the consumer both experiences and contributes to coffee sociality (Bookman, 2014;Manzo, 2010Manzo, , 2014Shaker and Rath, 2019); their presence means that they are part of a social construction -the coffee shop community -thus elevating and extending the experience from 'having a coffee' to that of enabling self-expression and connection through consumption, resulting in calm, pleasant and even rejuvenating experiences (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Walsh et al., 2011). ...
... Servicescape relates to the physical location in which a service is provided and experienced by the consumer (Bitner, 1992;Zeithaml et al., 1996). Through successive studies, the constituent elements of servicescape have evolved and expanded to incorporate virtualscapes and, more recently, natural spaces (Rosenbaum and Massiah, 2011), therapeutic servicescapes (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019) and cosmopolitan servicescapes (Figueiredo et al., 2020). There are challenges to the notion that servicescapes are wholly controlled by service providers (Hanks and Line, 2018), but extant servicescape literature is largely informed by the experiences of groups or consumer collectives, without explicit acknowledgement of individual experiences, in terms of their contribution to and consumption of the servicescape. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the lone consumer experience in the context of speciality coffee, resulting in the conceptualisation of the lone consumer servicescape. The lone consumer is conceptualised as a consumption collective, with its own innate characteristics, behaviours and requirements that can be viewed through physical, social and symbolic aspects of servicescape. Through utilising freewriting, the research captures self-reported experiences of lone consumers of speciality coffee. Data derived from 54 respondents is analysed thematically to determine the dimensions of lone consumption. Findings reveal a lone consumption servicescape that combines spatiality, materiality and aesthetic, symbolic discourse and parasocial interactions, mediated by the lone consumer’s self-reflection. Lone consumption, in this context, is acknowledged as a sought after and fulfilling experience but one which requires both a conducive environment and self-awareness to utilise it.
... The extant literature in environmental psychology emphasizes the critical role of the physical environment on consumers' emotions, cognition, and behaviors (Chang et al., 2014;Higgins et al., 2019). The importance of this topic was introduced in a study of Kotler (1973) and later in the seminal paper by Bitner (1992) which investigated the role of the servicescape on customers' and employees' internal responses and behaviors. ...
... Risitano et al., 2017) and religious gatherings (e.g. Higgins et al., 2019). This is attributed to its triggering effect on customers' perception of service quality (Reimer & Kuehn, 2005;Hooper et al., 2013), emotions, cognitions, behavioral outcomes and consumer health and wellbeing (Rosenbaum & Massiah, 2011;Durna et al., 2015;Risitano et al., 2017;Higgins et al., 2019). ...
... Higgins et al., 2019). This is attributed to its triggering effect on customers' perception of service quality (Reimer & Kuehn, 2005;Hooper et al., 2013), emotions, cognitions, behavioral outcomes and consumer health and wellbeing (Rosenbaum & Massiah, 2011;Durna et al., 2015;Risitano et al., 2017;Higgins et al., 2019). The significance of the impact of service environment on consumers is not limited to the physical environment, but it also extends to the online servicescapes (e.g. ...
Article
This study investigates the relationship between religious servicescape and service experience and subsequent intentions to revisit. The context is “Umrah,” a journey focusses on spirituality. The study looks at service experience at a fine granular level of the dimensions, i.e. hedonic value, peace of mind, novelty. A mixed-method approach was utilized. The model then extended to investigate the boundary conditions of these relationships using rejuvenation as a moderator. A sample of 278 pilgrims participated in 2018. The findings suggest that servicescape is an antecedent for service experience and service experience have a positive influence on the intention to revisit.
... That is, we adopt a relational view on affect, where affect is not an internal emotional response, state, or disposition of a given subject, but rather a subject-formative change in the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jcr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jcr/ucab019/6339586 by guest on 08 August 2021 capacities to affect and to be affected (Anderson 2014). This change occurs through encounters of bodies, objects, ideas, and spaces that mutually constitute each other (Ahmed 2004;Higgins and Hamilton 2019;Wetherell 2015). Affective encounters can provoke various emotional responses and experiences (Ahmed 2004;Illouz 2009), the expressions of which can be shaped and managed through various forms of emotional labor (Hochschild 1983;Wharton 2009;Valor et al. 2021). ...
... However, this stream of work has not theorized how affective encounters contribute to subject formation. Our study invites researcher on experiences and performances to question how, in addition to being pleasurable and selftherapeutic (Scott, Cayla, and Cova 2017;Higgins and Hamilton 2019), extraordinary experiences and performances also serve as the means to shape consumer subjectivities. For instance, the religious service-scape studied by Higgins and Hamilton (2019), or the "grueling 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 adventure challenge" studied by Scott et al. (2017, 22) can also be explored as sites of mediated affective encounters through which particular kinds of subjects are produced (e.g., the resilient self-managing subject). ...
... Our study invites researcher on experiences and performances to question how, in addition to being pleasurable and selftherapeutic (Scott, Cayla, and Cova 2017;Higgins and Hamilton 2019), extraordinary experiences and performances also serve as the means to shape consumer subjectivities. For instance, the religious service-scape studied by Higgins and Hamilton (2019), or the "grueling 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 adventure challenge" studied by Scott et al. (2017, 22) can also be explored as sites of mediated affective encounters through which particular kinds of subjects are produced (e.g., the resilient self-managing subject). We call for more research into subject-formative affective encounters taking shape across varied market-mediated environments, in particularly the quickly multiplying platform-mediated environments (Kozinets et al 2021). ...
Article
Why do people willingly bestow upon themselves the responsibility to tackle social problems such as poverty? Consumer research has provided valuable insight into how individuals are created as responsible subjects but has yet to account for the crucial role of affective dynamics in subject formation. We draw upon affect theorizing and nascent research on ‘affective governmentality’ in organization and policy studies to theorize the formation of responsible subjects via affective encounters (i.e., consumption encounters through which consumers’ capacities to affect and to be affected change), and to explore how affective encounters are mediated downstream. Through a qualitative investigation of the online microloan market, we explain how market intermediaries contribute to the creation of affective-entrepreneurial subjects who willingly supply interest-free loans to the disadvantaged. The intermediaries accomplish this by nurturing and dramatizing a structure of feeling that subtends affective encounters, and by deploying apparatuses of affirmation and relatability to target and intervene into affective encounters. In addition to illuminating the affective dynamics involved in consumer responsibilization and subject formation more broadly, our study also facilitates critical reflection on the subject-formative power of consumer experiences and experiential marketing, and carries important implications for research on charitable giving, and critical thinking on microcredit.
... Among a large group of pilgrims travelling to Lourdes from the Netherlands, "praying for my own healing" was rated as the least important aspect of the Lourdes experience from a list of 20 items (Pieper & Van Uden, 1994). Research about Lourdes tends to explore broader therapeutic effects rather than miraculous cures (Harris, 2013;Higgins & Hamilton, 2019;Perriam, 2015;Warfield et al., 2014). ...
... They repeatedly told us that it was hard to define the "something" that happened to them at Lourdes, although they described powerful effects. As Higgins and Hamilton describe in their study: "[William] James captures the affective power of Lourdes, drawing attention to its sensory qualities that cannot be verbally communicated" (Higgins & Hamilton, 2019). Their Lourdes participants described experiences where "something" highly significant, albeit not miraculous, happened to them (Higgins & Hamilton, 2014). ...
... Interestingly, a study of over 500 pilgrims from the Netherlands surveyed participants before, immediately after and six months after their pilgrimage, and while there was evidence of a deepening of faith and reflection immediately afterwards, they found that six months later there was no evidence of lasting change or transformation in people's faith or religious attributions (Pieper & Van Uden, 1994). This recalls a common observation that people return regularly to pilgrimage sites for a "top-up" or renewal (Gesler, 1996;Higgins & Hamilton, 2019;Perriam, 2015). Of course, pilgrims may experience other kinds of transformation, relating to their world view or their perceptions of illness, for example, and these more subtle effects can be hard to detect in large surveys. ...
Article
Full-text available
Millions of pilgrims visit Lourdes each year, often seeking revitalisation rather than miraculous cures. We sought to understand the phenomenon of transcendent experiences. We spoke with 67 pilgrims including assisted pilgrims, young volunteers and medical staff. About two in five reported a transcendent experience: some felt they had communicated or had close contact with a divine presence, while others reported a powerful experience of something intangible and otherworldly. Transcendent experiences are an important feature of pilgrimage to Lourdes and the place offers the faithful a means of connecting with the divine, with nature and with the self.
... Affect, as a driver of action, is often viewed as the 'first window through which we encounter environments of consumption' (Hill et al., 2014: 388). In line with the affective turn in the social sciences, we have seen a surge in interest in the study of affect in consumer research, most notably in managing the affective atmospheres of consumption spaces (Biehl-Missal and Saren, 2012;Hill, 2016;Hill et al., 2014;Hill et al., 2021;Cheetham et al., 2018;Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Linnet, 2013;Steadman et al., 2020;Yakhlef, 2015). This has provided an extensive ontological and epistemological upheaval, allowing us to examine aspects of life that have hitherto been missed (Lorimer, 2005) and expanding our ways of sensing the world by taking into account non-representational and embodied perspectives (Canniford et al., 2018;Patterson and Larsen, 2019;Scott and Uncles, 2018;Stevens et al., 2019). ...
... Recent research has focused on the social processes of creating and managing atmospheres by examining consumer journeys in and out of these atmospheres (Steadman et al., 2020;Hill et al., 2021;Higgins and Hamilton, 2019). Hill et al. (2021) note how atmospheres are shared and can lead to emotional transformations through 'entrainment' and 'collective effervescence'. ...
... This implies a motion and directedness toward and away from objects and others, orchestrated through lighting, music, charismatic preaching and collective praying. Indeed, by charging its congregants with affect, affective responses are institutionalised in order to generate strong emotional responses (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Hill et al., 2021). Making an impression on the poet-researcher's surface, the Temple services reorient her toward something new: ...
Article
Studies on affect and affective atmospheres have been a topic of increasing interest in marketing, particularly in the management of consumption and retail spaces where service providers attempt to orchestrate a prescribed, collective affective response in consumers. This paper draws on the work of Sara Ahmed and Margaret Wetherell to bring the subject back to the fore, providing a more fine-grained theorisation of how individuals land in such atmospheres. We articulate surfacing and sticking as key dimensions of landing, highlighting the heterogeneity of our landing, whereby affect is individually felt through bodily reactions due to how our personal affective history intersects with the socio-political context. Using a poetic affective attunement method, we capture intensely affective atmospheres, namely spirit-permeated religious settings in Brazil; demonstrating how landing results in different orientations or disorientations through which often elided emotional experiences come into view, privileging some subjects and objects whilst disadvantaging others.
... The embodied nature of spiritual experiences becomes prominent, however, in spiritual consumption, as witnessed by the very recent trend in consumer research to focus on pilgrimages (Higgins & Hamilton, 2018;Husemann & Eckhardt, 2018). Such research seeks to address spiritual consumption from a corporal perspectiveone noteworthy dimension of which is pain. ...
... In this way, pain becomes a means for accessing spirituality; it provokes corporal immersion (Carù & Cova, 2007;Yakhlef, 2015) in a spiritual context (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2018). However, as demonstrated by the present auto-ethnographic account, it also needs to be stimulated by 'spiritual features' catalysing the connections between toe pain and the spiritual emotions of release and renewal (Higgins & Hamilton, 2018). These emotions do not orchestrate participants' performances but transform the pain that they suffer as a result into something spiritual. ...
... Experience providers must also consider developing a wide range of spiritual features to create 'evocative spaces' (Higgins & Hamilton, 2018). Together, these features add a spiritual coherence to the experiential context. ...
Article
The article addresses spiritual consumption from a corporal perspective, with a specific focus on pain and suffering as vehicles to a higher spiritual state. It applies a comparative auto-ethnography of the pain that people participating in two pilgrimages–the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain and the Quebec Compostela in Canada–feel in their toes and uses this to discuss how the experience and manifestation of pain actualises the spiritual experience. The results show that corporal pain transforms into a spiritual experience in the way that it connects to both the spiritual features associated with a particular context and the spiritual capital of the person experiencing the pain. They also reveal that displaying corporal pain during rituals–much like the sense of communion that is generated through the act of sharing–fosters further transformations leading to spiritual experiences.
... Higgins and Hamilton (2016) find that personally perceived mini-miracles draw pilgrims into a transformative experience that might attain a physical, social or peaceful quality (see also , Gesler, 1996). In their recent pilgrimage study, Higgins and Hamilton (2018) investigate a different facet of spirituality consumption and find that ritualistic practices of crying help release embodied emotional restrictions. Husemann and Eckhardt (2018) find that physical sensations and pain remind pilgrims of their physical existence, facilitating a dialogue between body and mind and achieving a meditative state. ...
... Being raised in traditional Catholic and Protestant Christian cultures where emotionality and reflection about the self has little room (Furedi, 2004), informants have locked their emotions in their bodies eventually leading to embodied emotional restrictions (Higgins & Hamilton, 2018). As the body changes, informants become mindful about their selves on a preconscious level first, before reaching reflective consciousness. ...
... Reflective work encompasses ritualised revivals of emotional pain to release embodied emotional restrictions (Higgins & Hamilton, 2018). As Mona describes, consciousness transformation remains a permanent exercise in letting go of the many things that were piled up, hoarded and stored, which also includes letting go of the many beauty ideals and body self-tortures that come with a distorted body perception. ...
Article
Consumers increasingly seek out the spiritual to enlighten their inner emptiness and find their inner selves. We add a physiological, embodied perspective, which has been commonly overlooked in extant research as a valuable opportunity for individual consumer spirituality. Interpretative investigation of body-transforming consumers uncovers a powerful reincarnation process that eventually leads to the self-renewal and reunion of body and mind. We find that the consumption of body-transforming substances initiates a mindful, spiritual consumer journey allowing consumers to actively develop and experience their inner spirituality through recurring cycles of reduction, reflection and release. These findings allow us to develop implications for a broader understanding of consumer spirituality where the active consumer seeks unity in the self and beyond.
... Prior research suggests that the design of servicescapes can lead to consumer transformation (Higgins & Hamilton, 2019), noting that transformation is facilitated by a place's liminality, where daily routines are suspended, allowing consumers to explore by embodying different roles and personas and thereby gaining/enhancing open-mindedness (Decrop et al., 2018). Some tourism servicescapes, for example, are known to provide individuals with the opportunity to transform (Lean, 2012) by offering the possibility to develop deeper interactions that can test and transform their identity (Coghlan & Gooch, 2011). ...
... Adding to prior research that points to the relevance of service elements in designing transformative experiences (e.g. Higgins & Hamilton, 2019;Sheldon, 2020), our findings detail one mechanism through which the servicescape enables opportunities for consumer transformation: by enabling activities and practices infused by multiple logics as organised through emergent recombinant strategies. In particular, we demonstrate that recombinant strategies are proposed to help guide consumers towards transformation through disrupting habitual experiences, redirecting attention and inviting identification. ...
Article
This study examines how hybrid organisations might manage multiple logics to design experiences that may prompt consumer transformation. Literature on hybrid organisations has mostly examined how they manage tensions and challenges related to logic multiplicity. Less is known about how they combine multiple logics to facilitate consumer self-transformation. We conducted an extended case study of Home4Creativity, an accommodation business guided by a blend of market, family and community logics. We found that the business promotes the interplay among logics through three strategies (substitution, alternation and integration) to suspend habitual experiences, redirect consumer attention and invite consumer identification. Thus, we show how managing multiple logics can support businesses in designing transformative experiences. These findings contribute to the literature on hybrid organisations by advancing knowledge of how they can facilitate consumer self-transformation. Further, they extend interdisciplinary research on transformative value by unpacking how the handling of multiple logics can lead to offerings that prompt consumer transformation.
... While strategies tend to be transferable across conceptually similar service contexts, tactics tend to require a degree of customization within each context. For example, the strategy of designing emotionally evocative spaces with potent religious symbols is relevant to most, if not all, pilgrimage sites; however, each pilgrimage site draws on unique symbols to accomplish this strategy (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019). The benefit of establishing both abstract design strategies and concrete design tactics can also be seen in quick service chains, such as Dunkin' and Starbucks. ...
... As another example, ideologically homogeneous servicescapes (e.g. religious holy sites) create belonging experiences, which in turn cultivate inter-consumer relationships (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019). ...
Article
Purpose Dyadic services research has increasingly focused on helping providers facilitate transformative service conversations with consumers. Extant research has thoroughly documented the conversational skills that providers can use to facilitate consumer microtransformations (i.e. small changes in consumers’ thoughts, feelings and action plans toward their well-being goals). At the same time, extant research has largely neglected the role of servicescape design in transformative service conversations despite some evidence of its potential significance. To redress this oversight, this article aims to examine how servicescape design can be used to better facilitate consumer microtransformations in dyadic service conversations. Design/methodology/approach This article is based on an interpretive study of mental health services (i.e. counseling, psychotherapy and coaching). Both providers and consumers were interviewed about their lived experiences of service encounters. Informants frequently described the spatial and temporal dimensions of their service encounters as crucial to their experiences of service encounters. These data are interpreted through the lens of servicescape design theory, which disentangles servicescape design effects into dimensions, strategies, tactics, experiences and outcomes. Findings The data reveal two servicescape design strategies that help facilitate consumer microtransformations. “Service sequestration” is a suite of spatial design tactics (e.g., private offices) that creates strong consumer protections for emotional risk-taking. “Service serialization” is a suite of temporal design tactics (e.g., recurring appointments) that creates predictable rhythms for emotional risk-taking. The effects of service sequestration and service serialization on consumer microtransformations are mediated by psychological safety and psychological readiness, respectively. Practical implications The article details concrete servicescape design tactics that providers can use to improve consumer experiences and outcomes in dyadic service contexts. These tactics can help promote consumer microtransformations in the short run and consumer well-being in the long run. Originality/value This article develops a conceptual model of servicescape design strategies for transformative service conversations. This model explains how and why servicescape design can influence consumer microtransformations. The article also begins to transfer servicescape design tactics from mental health services to other dyadic services that seek to facilitate consumer microtransformations. Examples of such services include career counseling, divorce law, financial advising, geriatric social work, nutrition counseling, personal styling and professional organizing.
... That is, feeling rules constrain the expression and experience of emotions by market actors (Hochschild 1983). For example, Higgins and Hamilton (2019) show that feeling rules in wellness servicescapes require extreme displays of therapeutic emotions, such as public crying. Furthermore, feeling rules and actors' emotional responses to them can and do change over time (Lupton 1998). ...
... The data are currently stored in a project directory on the Open Science Framework. • Normative approaches: focus on the interaction between structural emotional norms and their experience and expression (e.g., Hochschild 1983) • Performative approaches: focus on emotions as produced by symbolic public action (e.g., Reddy 1997) • Ritual approaches: focus on emotions as produced within public and collective occurrence (e.g., Collins 2004) Examples in consumer research Goldberg and Gorn 1987;Pham 1998Gopaldas 2014Higgins and Hamilton 2019 Note: Each key perspective on emotions has its own definition of emotions and assumptions about the nature of emotions and how to study them. This table represents a consolidated view of the extensive literature on emotions to facilitate the comparison of individual and social emotions (Turner 2014). ...
Article
Using the sociology of emotions, we investigate the role of social emotions as a legitimating force in the market. In a longitudinal study of the media coverage surrounding US fertility technologies, we find that legitimation involves the establishment of hierarchies among feeling rules, which dictate what social emotions are expressed toward markets, consumers, and technologies. We delineate three mechanisms (polarizing, reifying, and transforming social emotions) that are affected by trigger events such as product innovations and historical developments. These mechanisms work to (re)shape regulatory, normative, and cultural-cognitive legitimacy pillars, influencing the overall cultural attention paid to a market. Consequently, legitimation is ongoing and fragmented as the dominance of feeling rules varies across multiple entities and over time, with negative social emotions and controversies at times aiding this process rather than exclusively hindering it.
... airfares, accommodation and food); however, they differ in the purpose of travel. Religious tourists are seeking spirituality, serenity and rejuvenation (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Alhothali et al., 2021). While religious tourism has attracted several scholars from different religious backgrounds and believers (Nolan and Nolan, 1992;Sharpley and Sundaram, 2005;Abbate and Nuovo, 2013;Terzidou et al., 2018), Islamic religious tours have only recently begun to warrant the attention of tourism scholars because of the increasing numbers of Muslim travelers (Shafaei, 2016;Eid and Abdelkader, 2017;Akbulut and Ekin, 2018). ...
... Servicescape. In the past decade, the impact of servicescape on customer behaviors has increasingly attracted the attention of academics and practitioners (Bitner, 1992;Mari and Poggesi, 2013;Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Alhothali et al., 2021). The consumption experience of service consumers consists of aesthetic and functional qualities; however, previous research indicated that aesthetic qualities are more important in influencing the experience of service consumers (Wakefield and Blodgett, 1999;Kim et al., 2020;Prayag et al., 2020); consequently, an extension has been made on SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, 1997) to explore the hedonic experience and its influence on the consumer behavioral consequences. ...
Article
Purpose Umrah is a religious ritual that takes place inside the Holy Mosque in Makkah. Umrah can be performed any time during the year; however, performing Umrah in the month of Ramadan is much rewarded. Although the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting this event each year, studies that focus on exploring the Holy Mosque visitor segments are scarce. This study aims to explore and describe the marketing segments of Umrah performers relative to their Umrah experience inside the Holy Mosque of Makkah. Most specifically, this study aims to explore segments of Umrah performers based on their perception of servicescape, hedonic and convenience value and the visitors’ outcome behaviors [i.e. intention to revisit and positive word of mouth (PWOM)]. Design/methodology/approach Mixed-method techniques of data collection [i.e. self-administered questionnaires ( n = 278) and short discussions ( n = 10)] were used. Findings Cluster analysis is used for data analysis. The findings revealed four clusters of Umrah performers: real, occasional, rational and passionate performers. Research limitations/implications This study is a first attempt to target pilgrims based on their experience with the servicescape during the organized religious event; despite its exploratory nature, it reveals interesting insights that will be useful for managers and scholars. Although the study helps to enrich the existing knowledge on visitors’ experience and proposes some implications for practitioners, it does have some limitations. First, convenience sampling was used, and hence the findings cannot be generalized. Second, the limited period of observation did not allow the authors to provide a complete picture of the pilgrims’ behavior; for this reason, the study findings partially describe the phenomenon. Another limitation is related to the difficulty of approaching respondents from Asia or South East Asia although they constitute a significant percentage of the total Umrah performers every year; this is because of the language barrier as data was collected from only English and Arabic speakers. Hence, to overcome these limitations, it is suggested that future studies could be expanded to target Asian respondents and perhaps other nationalities; and could be undertaken in other religious contexts. Moreover, an interesting future study could be carried out to compare the same model during other religious events. Added to that, another growing area of research could be approached by researchers, such as the impact of pilgrims sharing their experiences on influencing E-PWOM. Practical implications The findings reveal several implications for policymakers and stakeholders. The segmentation of Umrah performers assists destination managers, policymakers and local firms involved in managing this mass event to identify effective marketing decision-makers, business strategies and policymakers to satisfy the needs of these visitors (Disegna et al. , 2011). Particularly, the identification of the key characteristics of these visitors can help destination marketers to develop a marketing mix that suits the needs of each cluster (Smith et al. , 2014). Despite that the performers’ main motivation is the religious purpose, marketing strategists can attract the attention of these visitors to visit other religious, cultural and heritage sites in the country. Social implications Encouraging the visit to other tourist spots in Saudi has several impacts on nourishing the economy and the community. Tourism in Saudi could encourage entrepreneurs to start new ventures to satisfy the need of visitors to the country. Small-medium enterprises could benefit from tourism as they could target market niches in which leader companies are not serving. For instance, hand-made souvenirs are one of these industries that could grow to satisfy the need of visitors. Originality/value The results contribute to the literature of event segmentation by identifying visitors’ profiles to rarely investigated destinations. The findings reveal several implications for policymakers and stakeholders.
... Together, both commentaries contribute to current debates on marketplace dynamics in the 'spiritual service industry' (Bowman, 1999, p. 181), the 'spiritscape' (Kale, 2004, p. 102), and therapeutic servicescapes (Higgins & Hamilton, 2018). By firmly locating the experience of spirituality into the realm of the market, Kotler's commentary not only supports the view that consumers' search for meaning is more and more fulfilled by purposefully designed spiritual goods and services, but it also speaks to accusations of 'economic imperialism' (Bonsu & Belk, 2010, p. 305) and 'spiritual materialism' (Gould, 2006, p. 63) that often go along with discussions of a new 'global spiritual ecology' (Kale, 2004, p. 102). ...
Article
Consumers increasingly turn to the marketplace in search of spiritual well-being. In this introduction to the special issue, we unpack the concept of consumer spirituality. We define consumer spirituality as the interrelated practices and processes engaged in when consuming market offerings (products, services, places) that yield 'spiritual utility'. The market offerings are purposely designed to quench consumers’ thirst for meaningful encounters with one’s inner self or a higher external power. We identify three vehicles – materiality, embodiment, and technology – that consumers engage with to access consumer spirituality. By unpacking the concept of consumer spirituality along three themes - (1) shaping markets for consumer spirituality, (2) the means for accessing consumer spirituality, and (3) making sense of and researching consumer spirituality - we provide a future research agenda to advance scholarly explorations of consumer spirituality and to facilitate a systematic development of this nascent body of literature in marketing and consumer research.
... The SOR model suggests that the environment stimulates the organism, and the organism, accepting such stimuli, produces through an internal process the final reactions of approach or avoidance [50]. Many studies have focused on the effects of the servicescape on consumer emotions and perceptions toward services, mainly hedonic services [51][52][53][54][55]. The servicescape affects an individual's emotional response, which, in turn, drives the individual to react in various ways, and similar findings have been reported for the healthscape. ...
Article
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Dentistry is highly energy- and resource-intensive with a significant environmental impact. To consolidate green dentistry supply chains, delivering the care of highest quality that meets client value should not be neglected. This study emphasized the importance of client-centered healthscape design for facilitating a green dentistry supply chain. A client-centered healthscape design, which promotes clients’ positive emotions and increases willingness to revisit the dentist, plays a critical role in realizing green dentistry supply chains in the long run. For this purpose, the relationship among dental healthscape design elements, client emotions, and revisit intentions was investigated using a Kansei engineering-based approach. The effects of dental healthscape elements on clients’ positive emotions and the effects of positive emotions on clients’ revisit intentions were holistically examined on the basis of the stimulus–organism–response model. Through this approach, 17 elements of design, ambience, and social interaction factors that comprise the dental healthscape and 20 Kansei words used to express clients’ positive emotions regarding dental service were identified. A questionnaire survey was used to assess Kansei and revisit intention in healthscape scenarios, composed of varied design elements. Primary data were collected from 600 individuals from 2017 to 2018 throughout Taiwan. Partial least squares was applied to holistically analyze the effects of dental healthscape elements on clients’ positive emotions and the effects of positive emotions on clients’ revisit intention to generate a Kansei model for the dental healthscape. All 20 Kansei words had significant positive effects on the dental revisit intention of clients. The five positive emotions most associated with increased revisit intention were thoughtful, hopeful, tender, comfortable, and cozy. The Kansei model of the dental healthscape provides references for healthscape design that maintains positive client emotions during the dental service and results in high revisit intention. This approach can realize an emotion-centered design for dental healthscapes that promotes preventive dental care, early treatment, and effective use of medical resources, and consequently contributes to green dentistry supply chains.
... Holbrook (1987a) even experimented with the term consummation, Q10 to define consumption as "a goal achieved, a need is fulfilled, or a want is satisfied" (Holbrook, 1987b, p. 128). The experiential turn Q11 Holbrook and Hirschman championed spawned a subfield that unpacks consumers' experiences and experiential goals (Carù and Cova, 2007;Higgins and Hamilton, 2018;Scott et al., 2017;Sherry and Joy, 2003), and organizations and consumers' roles in the co-creation of experiences (Hartmann et al., 2015;Jaakkola et al., 2015;Minkiewicz et al., 2014;Wattanasuwan and Elliott, 1999). ...
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This review takes stock of the development of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) and provides a perspective from which this field of research can be framed, synthesized, and navigated. This review takes a conceptual and historical approach to map the rich theoretical inventory cultivated over almost 40 years of culturally-oriented research on consumption. The authors describe how CCT has emerged, chart various approaches to consumer culture studies, outline the dominant research domains, identify debates and controversies that circulate in the field, discuss the latest conceptual and methodological developments, and share managerial implications of a CCT approach. From this vantage point, they point to some promising directions for CCT research. © Eric Arnould, Melea Press, Emma Salminen and Jack S. Tillotson (2019).
... Emancipatory elements have started to emerge within Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) and Transformative Services Research (TSR) studies, as evidenced by: Hill et al.'s (2015Hill et al.'s ( , 2016 work on prison restrictions, encouraging democratic participation and co-theorising through poetry methods; and the sensitive, long-term ethnographic work of Higgins and Hamilton (2019) demonstrating the value of systemised reflexivity and relationship-building. ...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to provoke a conversation in marketing scholarship about the overlooked political nature of doing research, particularly for those who research issues of social (in)justice. It suggests a paradigmatic shift in how researchers might view and operationalise social justice work in marketing. Emancipatory praxis framework offers scholars an alternative way to think about the methodology, design and politics of researching issues of social relevance. Design/methodology/approach This is a conceptual paper drawing on critical theory to argue for a new methodological shift towards emancipatory praxis. Findings As social justice research involves a dialectical relationship between crises and critique, the concept of emancipation acts as a methodological catalyst for furthering debate about social (in)justice in marketing. This paper identifies a set of methodological troubles and challenges that may disrupt the boundaries of knowledge-making. A set of methodological responses to these issues illustrating how emancipatory research facilitates social action is outlined. Research limitations/implications Emancipatory praxis offers marketing scholars an alternative methodological direction in the hope that more impactful and useful ways of knowing can emerge. Practical implications The paper is intended to change the ways that researchers work in practical and concrete terms on issues of social (in)justice. Social implications Although this paper is theoretical, it argues for an alternative methodological approach to research that reorients researchers towards a politicised praxis with emancipatory relevancy. Originality/value Emancipatory praxis offers a new openly politicised methodological alternative for addressing problems of social relevance in marketing. As a continuous political and emancipatory task for researchers, social justice research involves empirical encounters with politics, advocacy and democratic participation, where equality is the methodological starting point for research design and decisions as much as it is the end goal.
... Is this true in times of widespread threat, when the importance of digital goods is higher because they are consumers' lifeline to the world? Recent research has identified a therapeutic role of consumption servicescapes, focusing on how they "heal" consumers through rituals of therapeutic relations, release, and renewal (Higgins and Hamilton 2019). When and how are servicescapes likely to provide this therapeutic role for consumers experiencing disruption following contagion or economic threats? ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn have dramatically impacted the lives of consumers around the world. From a conceptual perspective, such health and economic threats can severely disrupt consumers’ sense of ontological security and elicit adaptive responses by both consumers and marketers. Given the opportune timing, this issue of the Journal of Consumer Research is focused on articles that address questions of consumers’ responses to external threats. The purpose of this introduction is to provide an organizing “conceptual tapestry” to connect the articles appearing in the issue. This framework is provided as a tool to help researchers structure their particular projects within the broader landscape of consumer threat response and to present some potential directions for future research. In conjunction with these articles, we hope that this conceptual framework will provide a point of departure for researchers seeking to enhance the understanding of how consumers and markets collectively respond over the short term and long term to threats that disrupt consumers’ routines, lives, or even the fabric of society. Keywords: threat, pandemic, COVID-19, economic, health, consumer insecurity, disruption, consumer response
... Although consumer experiences (Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982;Joy & Sherry, 2003) and experiential consumption have been at the heart of marketing oriented CCT work all along, it is still important to bear in mind that we continue to work with a notion that is not very sharply conceptualized or understood (Carù & Cova, 2003). Novel and promising areas of theorization can be found, for example, in insights into embodiment of experiences (Scott et al., 2017;Stevens et al., 2019), temporality/flow (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019;Woermann & Rokka, 2015), atmospheres/emplacement (Higgins & Hamilton, 2019), and ideological/political influences on the assembling of experiences. A further limitation characterizing existing research is its over-reliance on "fixed" textually-based treatments and representations of experiences, despite their increasingly visual, affective, multisensory, and flowing nature (Rokka et al., 2018). ...
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This commentary offers a view into the contributions of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) in marketing and charts promising future avenues for research and marketing practices building a culturally sensitive and reflexive approach. After highlighting pioneering CCT perspectives, an outline for future directions in marketing is offered emphasizing the assembling of experiences, shaping of brands’ symbolic universes, institutional and creative market processes, and networked and algorithmic mediation of consumption ideologies and desires. Overall, CCT’s future looks promising in its commitment and ability to foster critical, contextually sensitive, and reflexive cultural insights into marketing – an important foundation for marketing strategy and practices.
... For example, cataloguing new species is a recognized part of biological science and cataloguing new particles a recognized part of physics. Here we name just a few CCT "discoveries": brand relationships (Fournier, 1998); brand communities (Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001); ritual aspects of consumption (Wallendorf & Arnould, 1991); extraordinary consumption experiences (Arnould & Price, 1993;Higgins and Hamilton, 2019); linking value of goods (Cova, 1997); magical and sacred aspects of consumption (e.g., Belk et al., 1989); liquid consumption (Bardhi & Eckhardt, 2017); myth and narrative in consumption (Stern, 1995;Thompson, 2004;Van Laer et al., 2019); consumer generated markets (Scaraboto & Fischer, 2013;Martin & Schouten, 2014); and the agentic potential of consumption objects (Epp et al., 2014). ...
... The 'mini-miracles,' or the stories of physical and spiritual transformations that the pilgrims tell (Higgins & Hamilton, 2016), as well as the tensions they feel balancing the spiritual and material aspects of the journey (Husemann et al., 2016) support the emotionally laden nature of pilgrimages. Furthermore, Higgins and Hamilton (2018) reveal how pilgrimage sites enable performances of emotional suffering, leading the authors to conceptualise pilgrimage sites as therapeutic servicescapes. The specific sensory and symbolic elements of these sacred sites, combined with the presence of likeminded others and norms, such as the social acceptability of crying, create an environment that surfaces and heals emotional pain. ...
Article
This article is the first to provide an account of the discursive features of online consumer reviews of pilgrimage sites. Drawing from pilgrimage studies and narrativity theory in consumer research, the authors explore how consumers communicate the spiritual and material aspects of pilgrimage experiences by examining a corpus of 833 consumer reviews on TripAdvisor of the most sacred pilgrimage sites of the world’s major five faith groups. Pilgrims include analytical discursive features to communicate the material aspect of their consumption experience. They reserve narration for spiritual transformation and the experience of strong emotions. Moreover, review ratings are only reflective of the spiritual aspect of their consumption experience. As such, this research complements previous studies by highlighting the material, physical aspect of this extraordinary consumption experience.
... Hence, assemblages of hope are largely located in market logics (rather than for example, forms of spirituality) and sustain a sense that solutions can be found. The marketplace, thus, has a therapeutic function (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019) and is used to redress the uncertainty of illness. Assemblages of hope, collectively and individually, overcome the negative discourse of cancer and disrupt the hegemony of medical and scientific certainties. ...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we introduce the concept of saunascape. To that end, we explore what kind of socio-material practices are carried out within sauna bathing, and thereby discover the elements of saunascape. We focus on interrelated practices of sauna bathing and address the agentic capacity of saunascape as it structures these practices. The data were generated through interviews that took place in sauna departments at five different hotels in Finland. In total, 39 informants participated in interviews. The findings show four interconnected socio-material practices relating to sauna bathing: purification, nostalgization, medicalization and democratization. As saunascape emerges in the nexus of these practices, its spatially-constructed elements (places, people, meanings and material processes) appear connected to practices. The study participates in discussions in which the spatiality and non-human agency in consumption practices are evolved. Furthermore, it showcases an example of how an understudied cultural-historical phenomenon may be linked to modern consumption trends.
... It is transformative in the sense that it permeates the 'porous boundaries' of bodies (Thrift, 2008), leaving traces in our enduring dispositions. In opening up to affect, energy levels change and bodies come to inhabit altered affective states (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019;Hill et al., 2014Hill et al., , 2022 producing vitality, aliveness and changeability (Wissinger, 2007). These states are indicative of the cyclical process of affective flow; a 'rippling' or 'doubling back' of intensities (Ahmed, 2004). ...
Article
In this paper, we are concerned with how we might account for the under-appreciated relation of intensities that flow through and around consumption experiences. In pursuing clarity, researchers have tended to treat consumer experiences as bounded and discrete, segregated from the messy unfolding of life around them. In this work, we look to acknowledge this everyday unfolding of the experience to appreciate how we might articulate the more-than-representational excess of seemingly un-spectacular, quotidian moments of encounter, and how we might attune ourselves to the constant unfolding of consumer experiences. In addressing these concerns, we produce a series of narratives designed to reveal both the ecologies and processual registers of experience. These narratives seek not just to inform, but also to evoke and provoke. Moreover, they work to engage readers with the messiness of everyday life attempting to give form to phenomena that are essentially formless and in continuous circulation.
... Conceptualised as an attempt to repair the hermeneutical injustice in which inmates are embedded, this study provides a vivid account of how alternative knowledge can be produced through a blurring of the roles between researchers and those who experience identity prejudice. Similarly accounts of consumers living with impairments details their market-mediated emotional suffering in ways that would otherwise remain obscured from collective understanding if not for the senstive longitudinal approach to enthnography (Higgins and Hamilton, 2019). ...
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This paper brings a critical awareness to the interrelations between epistemic injustice and knowledge hierarchies, through an insufficient attention to the Other as epistemically harmed. Because of the dominant empirical and theoretical authority Others are subjected to in research practices and dissemination, our paper explores how marginalised voices possess less epistemic agency due to their disciplining, neglect and subjugation as knowers through testimonial and hermeneutical injustice. We contribute two new categories of epistemic injustice in marketing; Silencing and Ignorance; areas, which reproduce and reify knowledge hierarchies but equally provide scholars with an opportunity to contest epistemic dominance. Through an explicit acknowledgement of the relationship between difference, power and knowledge in meaning-making, we argue for Other consciousness which entails (i) privileging Othered knowledge, (ii) highlighting structural epistemic in/justice within Marketing academe and (iii) advocating for artistic-inclusive processes, to alter how we theorise knowing Others, and Other knowers, in marketing scholarship.
Thesis
Smart (home) devices, often comprising some degree of artificial intelligence, have recently gained centrality in consumers’ lives. Likewise, marketing research shows growing interest in consumers’ use of smart technology, which has resulted in a plethora of works on the topic. However, extant research projects have tended to either take a prophetic, future-oriented or prematurely specific stance. Hence, a substantial theoretical understanding of consumption experiences with smart technology is as of yet missing. Adopting a consumer behavior and service marketing perspective, this thesis aims to close this research gap. Across four research projects, both conceptual and empirical, this dissertation first delimits and specifies the phenomenon of smart digital consumption, before analyzing the transformative impact of smart devices on consumers’ domestic contexts. Additionally, this thesis investigates how consumers build and maintain trust in their smart devices (in this case, smart voice-interaction technologies), and finally examines the hybrid influence of digital and analog contexts on smart service value generation. The findings of this thesis suggest that if marketing researchers aim to contribute to meaningful knowledge about consumers’ smart technology use and want to generate original research results, they first need to establish a more contextual understanding of smart technologies as such and their impact on consumption experiences. To stimulate scientific progress, this thesis concludes by identifying avenues for future research.
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Adopting a commitment to the principle of heterogeneity, combined with a concern for subjugated and disqualified knowledge, we unravel the debates around telepathy and telementation in marketing theory and practice. We explicate the conditions of possibility for these deliberations, focusing on the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). A close reading of the scholarly outputs published by members of the SPR helps us unpack the theoretical assumptions underwriting telepathy via the concept of the subliminal self. This material forms the foundations for William Walker Atkinson’s ‘practical occultism’. We review Atkinson’s work, making the case that telepathy was central to exerting personal influence. Our account thus diverges markedly from extant histories of influence. Attention is then turned to the jettisoning of telepathic linkages. Changes in discourse reflect ‘epistemological deflation’ in combination with ‘counter-reversal’. Nonetheless, telepathic and telementative assumptions remain central to our understanding of sales and marketing communications. The same can be said of consumer research. Telepathy may also impact our future in a novel, ‘synthetic’ form.
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This article explores how consumers’ relative spatial location influences their preferences and choices. Drawing on the conceptual metaphor literature, the author proposes that people interpret the abstract concept of risk using a more tangible concept: their location relative to the center or edge of a space. Five main studies (and a pilot) reveal the existence of a metaphorical association between risk and spatial location and show how this association systematically affects consumer risk-taking behavior. Specifically, people positioned closer to the edges (vs. center) of space are disproportionately more likely to seek (vs. avoid) risky choices. This phenomenon is demonstrated across various decision-making scenarios in the laboratory and field - using both physical and virtual manipulations of space. This effect occurs because being located closer to the edges (vs. center) evokes concepts related to risk (vs. safety), making risky (vs. safe) products easier to process, and as a result, more desirable. Moreover, this research sheds light on the effect characteristics and boundary conditions. The author concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for consumers and businesses.
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La littérature en marketing expérientiel fait le portrait d'un consommateur actif au sein de l'expérience. L'analyse d'une expérience de consommation festive sur le plan sensible montre que l'expérience peut aussi être subie par des non-consommateurs co-présents. Nous appuyant sur une étude ethnographique longitudinale et une analyse phénoménologique et structurale, nous proposons le concept de champ d'expérience de consommation, qui permet de définir l'espace d'une expérience. Nous discutons le rôle de cet apport conceptuel dans le champ d'étude récent des espaces de consommation.
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La littérature en marketing expérientiel fait le portrait d'un consommateur actif au sein de l'expérience. L'analyse d'une expérience de consommation festive sur le plan sensible montre que l'expérience peut aussi être subie par des non-consommateurs co-présents. Nous appuyant sur une étude ethnographique longitudinale et une analyse phénoménologique et structurale, nous proposons le concept de champ d'expérience de consommation, qui permet de définir l'espace d'une expérience. Nous discutons le rôle de cet apport conceptuel dans le champ d'étude récent des espaces de consommation.
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This monograph describes the marketing research that has been published in the top marketing journals since their inception relating to health care, broadly defined. Over 1,000 articles are summarized across the chapters relating to consumer behavior and food, consumer behavior and other consumption, and business marketing issues. Research from outside of marketing is also briefly reviewed. This monograph celebrates the research that has been accomplished and closes with suggestions for future research.
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Consumers around the world use retail therapy to alleviate negative emotions. In response, marketers have incorporated cute elements into product design, capitalizing on the demand for products that provide healing effects. Grounded on attention restoration theory, this study explores how baby and whimsical cuteness generate feelings of healing. It also clarifies the moderating effect of product type and examines whether feelings of healing affect consumer subjective well-being, product attitudes, and purchase intentions. The results indicate that products with cute elements generate stronger feelings of healing. Baby cuteness is relatively more effective than whimsical cuteness. Cuteness arouses feelings of healing through the mechanisms of fascination and extent. Incorporating cute elements with utilitarian (vs. hedonic) products enhances these healing effects. Feelings of healing mediate the cuteness effect on well-being and attitudinal responses. These findings are valuable to marketing theory and practice and consumer well-being.
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Based on an ethnographic study of Lourdes, we contribute to tourism discussion on religious pilgrimage and communitas. Taking a material perspective, we prioritise spontaneous over normative communitas, and materiality over intangibility. We adopt the lens of tangible communitas to unpack the role of material objects in extending communitas beyond the spatial confines of the pilgrimage site. We explore how spontaneous communitas manifests in the material objects brought home from and left behind at the pilgrimage site. This reveals the portability of communitas and how it can be de-coupled from liminality and experienced in normative structure. The paper's focus on religious materiality also offers a renewed understanding of the extra-discursive importance of religious kitsch materiality.
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This research aimed to empirically explore whether impulsive consumption in the hospitality industry could be explained as a form of compensatory behavior that individuals engage in to cope with pessimistic self-evaluations. In this study, these self-evaluations have been operationalized as status discrepancy and perceived socioeconomic immobility. To test the hypotheses, this study used a three-way factorial design in two consumption settings: (1) leisure activities and (2) restaurant visits. Across the two studies, the results indicated that satisfactory self-assessments, rather than status discrepancy or socioeconomic immobility, lead to impulsive consumption. Despite the reversed findings, this study verified that participants jointly reflect status discrepancy and socioeconomic immobility in consumption contexts. Moreover, the findings suggest that millennials are more sensitive towards mobility information than older generations. This study sheds light on generational differences in impulsive consumption in the hospitality industry.
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How might religion influence consumer behavior in the marketplace? The present research proposes that failure and subsequent firm recovery efforts represent a domain that may be particularly sensitive to religion. Specifically, demonstrate that religion salience promotes a more positive response to failure when accompanied by recovery. This effect is due to heightened forgiveness, a religious value held by many major world religions, which is triggered by signals of firm repentance. In a series of eight studies, theorizing is extended to the moderating roles of both religiosity (with implications for the religion-forgiveness discrepancy) and recovery content (comparing apology versus compensation) and evidence of generalizability across several major religious affiliations is provided. This research highlights the importance of religion salience to marketers operating in failure-recovery contexts.
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This article provides a history of the treatment of consumer collectives in the social sciences literature. It highlights some of the insights derived from recent work in consumer research on consumer collectives which we organize under a heuristic taxonomy distinguishing packs, tribes, and bands. All of this suggests some future directions for consumer collectives and areas for future research. The proliferation and diversification of digital technologies will continue to shape and be shaped by consumer collectivities. Platforms are likely to accelerate and diversify consumers’ collective uses of their affordances. Algorithms seem destined to play a bigger role in the formation and management of collectives. Both geography-free and local collectives are likely to develop further. The article concludes with synopses of the competitive and invited articles in this issue, which richly portray the behaviors and meanings that shape and are shaped by consumer collectives.
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In this editorial, we leverage the metaphor of the road trip to help those authors submitting to the Journal of Service Research and other publications craft high-quality qualitative research (HQQR). We outline three criteria as hallmarks of HQQR: relevant research addresses important problems or gaps, rigorous research makes data collection and analysis transparent, and responsive research reflects the ability to adapt to concerns and critiques as the project unfolds. We unpack four essentials of the road trip that enable authors to deliver on the above criteria: vehicle (theory), route (research design), traveling companions (coauthors, participants), and safety kit (planning, tools). We explain how choices made by researchers not only can foster HQQR but can also fuel the journey to publication. Our “Road Trip Checklist” provides a quick reference to specific questions researchers should ask to address each essential element and offers article exemplars that masterfully respond to these questions. We hope this editorial encourages researchers to draw on qualitative techniques to explore service-related topics that would benefit from immersive fieldwork and that it inspires the necessary guidance and confidence to get on the road.
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Two research questions lie at the heart of this paper: what are the needs of terminally ill patients and their families and what can tourism providers do to better meet these needs? We offer both theoretical and managerial contributions to these questions, drawing insights from our extensive empirical research into terminal illness, positioned here as a profound form of unsettled times. We mine the stories collected from in excess of 200 patients and their families diagnosed with a terminal illness through to bereavement. Domestic tourism, visiting friends and relatives and respite care all dominate this space. We propose a hierarchy of service needs categorised as: emotional; informational; environmental; restorative; and aftercare, offering also a temporal understanding of which services are needed, and at which point in time. Future opportunities to test the validity of this hierarchy in other health-tourism contexts to aid tourism business planning and practice are outlined.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of service flexibility in addressing consumer vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers within the funerary context. Design/methodology/approach Using phenomenological philosophy and a grounded approach, data was collected and analyzed through 12 depth interviews with funeral service providers, coupled with observations and photographs of three second-line funeral processionals. Findings Study results include the following three primary roles of service providers in supporting chronically-traumatized consumers: the role of service fluidity in addressing trauma, mitigating vulnerability via service providers as community members and alleviating suffering through compassionate service. Service flexibility and value co-creation efforts were executed through an expansive service ecosystem of vendors. Practical implications When consumers experience vulnerability that demands reliance upon service industries, service providers can intentionally implement fluidity and agility in service design, adopt understanding and altruistic practices, and operate with empathy and compassion to orchestrate mutually-beneficial service outcomes. Social implications Rooted in transformative service research, providers are advised to consider modifying services to improve well-being and mitigate vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers via fluidity, community and compassion. Originality/value This study contributes originality to the body of service marketing literature by illustrating how service providers alleviate vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers through three adaptive service strategies.
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This paper explores how local, lived religion has creatively linked spiritual insights and popular devotions in ecologically valuable settings helping generate and preserve the rich Spanish biocultural heritage. Focusing on a selection of Sacred Natural Sites (SNS), mostly Marian sanctuaries, it shows that local "geopiety" and religious creativity have generated "devotional titles" related to vegetation types, geomorphological features, water, and celestial bodies. It also argues that, despite mass migration to urban centers, the questioning of "popular religion" after the Second Vatican Council, and the rapid secularization of Spanish society over the past fifty years, a set of distinctive rituals and public expressions of faith-some of them dating back to the Middle Ages-have remained alive or even thrived in certain rural sanctuaries. These vernacular devotions, however, do not necessarily announce the advent of the postsecular. Finally, it suggests that Protected Area (PA) managers, regional governments, custodians, anthropologists, tourism scholars, and theologians should work together in order to analyze, interpret, and help solve the management challenges highly popular SNS face.
Book
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This book explores how people draw upon spiritual, religious, or faith-based practices to support their mental wellness amidst forms of chronicity. From diverse global contexts and spiritual perspectives, this volume critically examines several chronic conditions, such as psychosis, diabetes, depression, oppressive forces of colonization and social marginalization, attacks of spirit possession, or other forms of persistent mental duress. As an inter- and transdisciplinary collection, the chapters include innovative ethnographic observations and over 300 in-depth interviews with care providers and individuals living in chronicity, analyzed primarily from the phenomenological and hermeneutic meaning- making traditions. Overall, this book depicts a modern global era in which spiritualty and religion maintain an important role in many peoples’ lives, underscoring a need for increased awareness, intersectoral collaboration, and practical training for varied care providers. This book will be of interest to scholars of religion and health, the sociology and psychology of religion, medical and psychological anthropology, religious studies, and global health studies, as well as applied health and mental health professionals in psychology, social work, cultural psychiatry, and medicine.
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Atmospheres are experiences of place involving transformations of consumers’ behaviors and emotions. Existing marketing research reveals how atmospheric stimuli, service performances, and ritual place-making enhance place experiences and create value for firms. Yet it remains unclear how shared experiences of atmosphere emerge and intensify among groups of people during collective live events. Accordingly, this paper uses sociological interaction ritual theory to conceptualize ‘social atmospheres’: rapidly changing qualities of place created when a shared focus aligns consumers’ emotions and behavior, resulting in lively expressions of collective effervescence. With data from an ethnography of an English Premier League football stadium, the authors identify a four-stage process of creating atmospheres in interaction ritual chains. This framework goes beyond conventional retail and servicescape design by demonstrating that social atmospheres are mobile and co-created between firms and consumers before, during and after a main event. The study also reveals how interaction rituals can be disrupted, and offers insight as to how firms can balance key tensions in creating social atmospheres as a means to enhance customer experiences, customer loyalty, and communal place attachments.
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How can we comprehend people who pay for an experience marketed as painful? On one hand, consumers spend billions of dollars every year to alleviate different kinds of pain. On the other hand, millions of individuals participate in extremely painful leisure pursuits. In trying to understand this conundrum, we ethnographi-cally study a popular adventure challenge where participants subject themselves to electric shocks, fire, and freezing water. Through sensory intensification, pain brings the body into sharp focus, allowing individuals to rediscover their corporeal-ity. In addition, painful extraordinary experiences operate as regenerative escapes from the self. By flooding the consciousness with gnawing unpleasantness, pain provides a temporary relief from the burdens of self-awareness. Finally, when leaving marks and wounds, pain helps consumers create the story of a fulfilled life. In a context of decreased physicality, market operators play a major role in selling pain to the saturated selves of knowledge workers, who use pain as a way to simultaneously escape reflexivity and craft their life narrative.
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Commercial mythmaking, where firms create, appropriate, and cultivate myths, plays an important role in creating and disseminating ideologies that help consumers manage tensions in the marketplace. Commercial mythmaking remains under-researched. In response we explore commercial mythmaking at the nexus of consumption, markets, and religion, where firms create myths that negotiate between market and religious logics. Some evangelical Christians hold beliefs that create tension with consumer culture, which they perceive to be secular and amoral. A religious theme park in the United States that appeals to this sub-segment serves as the empirical context. We identify three prominent politico-religious themes re-cast at the park as commercial myths. They are: redemption, authentic connection to the sacred, and American exceptionalism. These commercial myths aid consumers in resolving ideological tensions by infusing a politically conservative religious ideology into the brand's basic value proposition.
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This study analyzes the marketplace performances that are enacted in the field of women’s flat track roller derby using the theoretical lens of gender performativity. Rather than treating the roller derby field as an autonomous enclave of gender resistance, this study focuses on the interrelationships between derby grrrls’ resignifying performances of femininity and the gender constraints that have been naturalized in their everyday lives. The market-mediated nature of derby grrrls’ ideological edgework enables them to challenge orthodox gender boundaries, without losing socio-cultural legitimacy. This analysis casts new theoretical light on the gendered habitus and reveals key differences to the outcomes that would follow from Bourdieusian assumptions about the deployment of cultural capital in zero-sum status competitions. The concept of ideological edgework also presents a theoretical alternative to critical arguments, such as the commodity feminism thesis, that assume an inherently paradoxical and, ultimately co-opting, relationship exists between practices of countercultural resistance and marketplace performances. We further argue that ideological edgework redresses some of the conceptual ambiguities that can lead gender researchers to conflate gender performativity with social performances.
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Certain institutions traditionally have had broad socializing influence over their members, providing templates for identity that comprehend all aspects of life from the existential and moral to the mundanely material. Marketization and detraditionalization undermine that socializing role. This study examines the consequences when, for some members, such an institution loses its authority to structure identity. With a hermeneutical method and a perspective grounded in Bourdieu's theories of fields and capital, this research investigates the experiences of disaffected members of a religious institution and consumption field. Consumers face severe crises of identity and the need to rebuild their self-understandings in an unfamiliar marketplace of identity resources. Unable to remain comfortably in the field of their primary socialization, they are nevertheless bound to it by investments in field-specific capital. In negotiating this dilemma, they demonstrate the inseparability and co-constitutive nature of ideology and consumption.
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The purpose of this article is to evaluate and advance tools that marketing and consumer researchers have recently gathered from assemblage and actor–network theories. By distinguishing between two different styles of applying these theories we explain that a ‘representational’, interventionist and problem-solving mode has come to dominate existing uses of assemblage and actor-network theories in our field. We explain that current applications can be supplemented by a non-representational mode of theorising that draws on work pioneered by Nigel Thrift. Specifically, we explain that non-representational marketing theory can expand our ontological sensitivities through improved attention to the minutiae and hitherto unrepresented constituents of life. Towards this end, we offer methodological suggestions to extend attention to flows of everyday marketplace activity, precognitive forms of networked agency, as well as affect and atmosphere in consumption spaces.
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We develop a model describing how certain American men, those men who have been described as emasculated by recent socioeconomic changes, construct themselves as masculine through their everyday consumption. We find that American mass culture idealizes the man-of-action hero - an idealized model of manhood that resolves the inherent weaknesses in two other prominent models ( the breadwinner and the rebel). The men we studied drew from this three-part discourse - what we call the ideology of heroic masculinity - to construct themselves in dramatic fashion as man-of-action heroes. In addition, we show that these men pursue heroic masculinity in very different ways, depending on their social class positions.
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Modern mountain men form temporary consumption enclaves focused on reen‐acting the 1825–40 fur‐trade rendezvous held in the Rocky Mountain American West. In the process, they become part of a transient consumption community predicated on invented traditions and the invocation of a mythic past to create and consume fantastic time and space. Based on ethnographic methods employed over a five‐year period, we develop a historically contextualized understanding of this consumption fantasy. We analyze how modern mountain men enact fantasy experiences of a primitive alternative reality within the bounded ritual space of the modern rendezvous. We conclude that participation in this fantasy world offers a special opportunity for transformative play, while reinforcing a romanticized set of beliefs.
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This astonishing book presents a distinctive approach to the politics of everyday life. Ranging across a variety of spaces in which politics and the political unfold, it questions what is meant by perception, representation and practice, with the aim of valuing the fugitive practices that exist on the margins of the known. It revolves around three key functions. It: Introduces the rather dispersed discussion of non-representational theory to a wider audience. Provides the basis for an experimental rather than a representational approach to the social sciences and humanities. Begins the task of constructing a different kind of political genre. A groundbreaking and comprehensive introduction to this key topic, Thrift's outstanding work brings together further writings from a body of work that has come to be known as non-representational theory. This noteworthy book makes a significant contribution to the literature in this area and is essential reading for researchers and postgraduates in the fields of social theory, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies.
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This paper contributes to a rethinking of the ethical sensibilities of geographical research in the context of an emerging interest amongst geographers in non-representational registers of thinking and moving. Rather than undermining geographical engagements with questions of the ethical, the paper argues that this emerging interest in questions of the non-representational actually extends the range and repertoire of empirical contexts and conceptual vehicles within and with which such an engagement can take place. The paper argues that attending to and through the relation between affect and ethics is particularly important to this effort. The importance of affect in this regard is illustrated through a series of examples drawn from an 18-month participatory encounter with a specific therapeutic practice, Dance Movement Therapy. Drawing upon such examples, the paper offers some lines of ethical potential that might provide orientation to further geographical research. In doing this, the paper concentrates in particular on the necessity of cultivating a fidelity to the affective event of geographical ethics as much as remaining faithful to the subject or object of an ethical code.
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The current upsurge of interest in emotions within geography has the potential to contribute to critical perspectives that question conventional limits to scholarship. Three precursors of emotional geographies are discussed in this context (humanistic, feminist and non-representational geographies). Connections between emotional geographies and psychotherapy are explored with a view to resisting the equation of emotion with individualized subjective experience, and developing situated, relational perspectives. Psychotherapy is approached as a theory of practice that accords central importance to affective qualities of relationships, which is shown to be directly relevant to geographical engagements with emotion. The distinction between feelings and representations of feelings is revisited through a discussion of psychotherapeutic meaning-making.
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This paper examines the holy well as a representative therapeutic landscape with a particular focus on linking a traditional setting with contemporary theory associated with the 'performative turn'. This is developed within the paper to suggest a new theoretical model of the 'therapeutic assemblage' containing material, metaphoric and inhabited dimensions. Drawing empirical evidence from Irish holy wells, complex holistic performances of health are identified within such settings. Deeper associations with more-than-representational theory suggest new directions in the study of therapeutic landscapes to uncover the importance of cultural practice and lay narratives of healing in the creation of healthy place.
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Phase transitoire du cycle de vie, l’adolescence se caractérise par une période de construction de l’identité. En permettant aux individus de transmettre un message sur soi aux autres, la consommation symbolique participe à la construction identitaire des 12-18 ans. Afin d’optimiser les campagnes publicitaires à leur intention, il convient alors de déterminer les capacités respectives de la marque et du produit à véhiculer les signes que les adolescents souhaitent diffuser auprès des tiers. Ce papier apporte des éléments de réponse à cette problématique grâce à la présentation d’un cadre théorique et des résultats d’une étude qualitative et d’une étude quantitative menées respectivement auprès de 12 et de 208 adolescents.
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This article addressed the complex relationship between religion and the market by proposing three basic paradigms, and then applying them to contemporary Christian social thought (or social ethics). The first conflicting model, following Max Weber and Karl Marx, views religion and the market in opposition, which results in greater secularisation. The second, following Emile Durkheim, proposes a 'functionalist' model of society, in which the market itself becomes sacred. The third, following Karl Polanyi, claims the two are more dialectical, in that both are affected by the power of the other; they remain in an ambiguous relationship. The author argues that the third model is the most coherent description of this complex relationship as well as the one most consistent with the convictions of Chrstian social thought.
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As the ideas of the relational and relationality become part of the everyday conceptual make-up of human geography, in this paper I seek to recall the insistent and incessant importance of the nonrelational. In dialogue with nonrepresentational theory, as well as its critics, I suggest that any thought or theory of relationality must have as its acknowledged occasion the incessant proximity of the nonrelational. The occasion for this discussion is a consideration of the relationship between suffering, pain, or passion and the thematising actions of representation, communication, narrativisation, and theorisation. Such affections, it is claimed, present social science with a particular problem, a problem which revolves around an irreducible nonthematisability within these dimensions of corporeal existence. Drawing on the writings of Butler, Derrida, and Levinas I offer an account of how this problem or impasse allows for a rethinking of the ethical within social analysis and of the nature of representation, corporeality, and intersubjectivity.
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Employing an expanded meaning of the concept of landscape taken from the 'new' cultural geography, this paper explores why certain places or situations are perceived to be therapeutic. Themes from both traditional and recent work in cultural geography are illustrated with examples from the literature of the social science of health care. The themes include man-environment relationships; humanist concepts such as sense of place and symbolic landscapes; structuralist concepts such as hegemony and territoriality; and blends of humanist concerns, structuralist concerns, and time geography. The intention of this broad overview is to bring some particularly useful concepts developed in cultural geography to the attention of social scientists interested in matters of health and to stimulate research along new lines.
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The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions predicts that positive emotions broaden the scopes of attention and cognition, and, by consequence, initiate upward spirals toward increasing emotional well-being. The present study assessed this prediction by testing whether positive affect and broad-minded coping reciprocally and prospectively predict one another. One hundred thirty-eight college students completed self-report measures of affect and coping at two assessment periods 5 weeks apart. As hypothesized, regression analyses showed that initial positive affect, but not negative affect, predicted improved broad-minded coping, and initial broad-minded coping predicted increased positive affect, but not reductions in negative affect. Further mediational analyses showed that positive affect and broad-minded coping serially enhanced one another. These findings provide prospective evidence to support the prediction that positive emotions initiate upward spirals toward enhanced emotional wellbeing. Implications for clinical practice and health promotion are discussed.
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Changes in health care service delivery have resulted in the transfer of care from formal spaces such as hospitals and institutions towards informal settings such as home. Due to the degree of this transfer, it is increasingly important for geographers to explore the experience and meaning of these changing geographies of care in order to reveal and understand the impact and effect on particular individuals and places. Recognizing that the home environment not only designates a dwelling but also represents a multitude of meanings (such as personal identity, security and privacy) that likely vary according to class, ethnicity and family size (among other socio-demographic variables), it presents a complex site for study. This paper suggests research directions to further understand the role of caregiving in contributing to the experience and meaning of the home environment by informal caregivers, the majority of which are women. Using a political economy approach, this paper first reviews the reorganization of health care services and discusses how this is reshaping the experience of informal caregivers at home. A review of the place identity literature contextualizes the specific discussion of the literature on the meaning of home, both of which are then critically examined. Next, the concept of therapeutic landscapes is discussed as an idealized framework to explore the health-promoting properties of home on informal caregivers. Questions for research are outlined before conclusions highlight how research on home space can allow a better understanding of the impact and effect of caregiving on family caregivers and the places where they live. Such research can inform the changes and trends in health care service policy.
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Over the last decade a number of studies have employed notions of therapeutic landscape to describe the ways in which places become implicated in processes of healing or health enhancement. While this work has usefully highlighted the environmental, social and symbolic dimensions of such places, relatively less consideration has been given to the relational dynamics through which these therapeutic effects emerge. In this paper I seek to address this absence through engagement with two related bodies of work: ecological formulations of place and relational notions of selfhood. These ideas are explored with reference to the experiences of guests at a respite care centre in Dorset, a predominantly rural county in southern England. Alongside its residential services, this centre places a strong emphasis on facilitating guests' engagement with the wider natural environment in which it is set. A number of general analytical and methodological points are developed with regard to future therapeutic landscape research.
Religious Gift Giving: An Ethnographic Account of a Muslim Pilgrimage
  • Moufahim