MAR 4503 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Roland Barthes, Opinion Leadership, Reference Group

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9 Jun 2016
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Opinion leader
Influential people
Megaphone effect – through Internet, ordinary people have access to large audiences
People become leaders
oWithout being born into it
oWithout holding certain institutional positions
They collect, evaluate, and synthesize information
Knowledgeable about products – expert power
Two meanings of taste
oA device for affiliation
oA standard for differentiating between hip and ordinary
The fashion system
Includes all people and organization that create symbolic meanings and transfer them to
cultural goods
Fashion: process of social diffusion by which some group of consumers adopts a new
style
A fashion: a type of style, a particular combination of attributes
In fashion: when a reference group has given its stamp of approval for a certain
combination of elements
Fashion as a process
Fashion is meaningful at the group level
Fashion products reflect a culture’s artistic traditions and history.
Fashion is important on a personal level
Desire to be in fashion motivates consumer behavior
People are motivated because of
Conformity
Variety seeking
A need to express a mood
Fashion as a process
Fashion from economic perspective
Objects in limited supply have high value
Rare items = prestige, exclusivity
Trickle down theory – two conflicting forces
Subordinate groups adopt status symbols from upper class
Upper class changes symbols when imitation from lower groups
Fashion today
Lack of a stable class structure
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