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This chapter deals with two important assumptions of consumer behaviour theories that are rooted in cognitive psychology and economics. The first is methodological individualism: the unit of observation is the individual consumer. The second is related to the nature of consumption activities: the consumer is seen as using (destroying) the utility created by companies and channelled through products and services.
Interpretive researchers (Beckmann and Elliott, 2000) have challenged these two assumptions as follows:
- Consumption is a collective phenomenon: groups just as individuals are capable of agency and, as such, they can be considered as the unit of analysis of the consumption process. Consumers ...