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Chapter 5

MKTG 4150 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Symbolic Interactionism, Social Comparison Theory, We Exist

Course Code
MKTG 4150
Arundhati Bhattacharyya

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Jessica Gahtan Textbook Notes MKTG 4150
Page 1 of 4
Chapter 5: The Self
Perspectives of Self
! We buy products to highlight/hide aspects of the self
! Eastern and Western cultures see the self as an inner private self and the outer
public self
! In the era of Facebook and Twitter everyone is able to share their thoughts with
millions of friends and strangers
! Each of us is a separate, unique individual
! Think about it: Do you behave differently in a group than with just a single friend?
! Self-concept: Beliefs a person holds about his/her own attributes, and how he/she
evaluates these qualities
! Attribute dimensions: Content, positivity, intensity, stability over time, and accuracy
! Self-esteem: Positivity of a person’s self-concept
! Low self-esteem: Think they will not perform well
! High self-esteem: Think they will be successful and will take risks
! Ads can trigger social comparison
o Attractive models using products
! Ideal self: Conception of how we would like to be
! Actual self: More realistic appraisal of the qualities we have
! Products can:
o Help us reach ideal self
o Be consistent with actual self
o Think about it: Can a product really make us satisfied with our real selves?
! We are constantly faced with images of the “idealperson in media
! Each of us has more than one self-concept - one for attractiveness, work ethic, friend etc.
! We engage in impression management - strategically engaging in products and
behaviours to impress
! Each of us have many selves and roles
! Marketers pitch products to facilitate active role identity: sister, friend,
spokesperson, athlete, mother, wife, Canadian citizen
! People are assuming virtual identities in cyberspace
! Avatars represent visual identity
! How do online “selves” affect consumer behaviour?
! Symbolic interactionism: Relationships with others play a large part in forming the self
! We exist in a symbolic world creating shared meanings
! “Who am I in this situation?”
Jessica Gahtan Textbook Notes MKTG 4150
Page 2 of 4
! “Who do other people think I am?”
! We pattern our behaviour on the perceived expectation of othersa self-fulfilling
! “Taking the role of the other”
! Can vary depending on…
o …Whose perspective we are taking
o …How accurate our predictions are of their evaluations of us
! Self-fulfilling prophecy
! Can be painfully aware of one-self
! Public self-consciousness
! Self-monitoring
o High vs. low self-monitors
o Think about it: What makes you more self- conscious… walking into a crowded
room or meeting with someone you don’t know well?
! Identity marketing: Consumers alter aspects of their selves to advertise a branded product
! Product consumption = definition of self
! Product as extended self
! Social identity as individual consumption behaviours
o Question: Who am I now?
o Answer: To some extent, your possessions!
! Inference of personality based on consumption patterns
! Consumers may attach themselves to product to maintain self-concept
! Symbolic self-completion theory: People who have an incomplete self-definition
complete identity by acquiring and displaying associated symbols.
! Consumers demonstrate their values through their purchase behaviour
! Self-image congruence models: We choose products when attributes matches the self
! Extended self: External objects considered a part of us
! Levels of extended self:
o Individual: personal possessions (cars, clothing)
o Family: residence and furnishings
o Community: neighbourhood or town where you live
o Group: social or other groups
! Gender roles vary by culture but are changing
! Many societies still expect traditional roles:
o Agenic roles: Men are expected to be assertive and have certain skills
o Communal roles: Women are taught to foster harmonious relationships
Jessica Gahtan Textbook Notes MKTG 4150
Page 3 of 4
! Androgyny: possession of both masculine and feminine traits
o Androgynous people function well in social situations
o Sex-typed people: stereotypically masculine or feminine
o Females more detail oriented
o Men consider overall themes
o Think about it: The “metrosexual” is a big buzzword in marketing, but is it real
or just media hype?
! Gender-bending products: Selling a sex-typed item to the opposite sex
! Rubbermaid introduced grooming tools such as tweezers and clippers for men
! Harley Davidson backed a world record attempt for female motorcycle riders
! Sarah Palin and her hunting adventures could catch on with other women
! Body image: Consumer’s subjective evaluation of his/her physical self
! Body cathexis: person’s feelings about his or her own body
! Strong body cathexis = frequent purchases of “preening” products
! Exemplar of appearance
! “What is beautiful is good” stereotype
! Favourable physical features
o Attractive faces
o Good health and youth
o Balance/symmetry
o Feminine curves/hourglass body shape
! Strongly masculine, muscled body
! Fashion houses are using models who look like “regular guys”
! Men and women “work on the body” from exercise to cosmetic surgery
o Think about it: Would you have plastic surgery to increase your self-concept?
! Skin color and eye shape = status, sophistication, and social desirability
! Less powerful cultures adopt standards of beauty in Waist-Hip Ratio dominant cultures
! Plastic surgery to obtain big round eyes, tiny waists, large breasts, blond hair, and blue
! ‘You can never be too thin or too rich’